Do you know which refrigerants are used in industrial refrigeration equipment?

Do you know which refrigerants are used in industrial refrigeration equipment?

There is no absolute answer to this question. No single refrigerant meets the 100% requirement of all cooling equipment. The ideal refrigerant needs to have all the conditions in terms of material compatibility, chemical stability, performance, non-toxicity, non-flammability, and boiling point. Decent Machinery can analyze your equipment according to its own advantages and propose suitable refrigerants. Some of the refrigerants that may be used in industrial refrigeration equipment are discussed below.


This refrigerant has perfect thermal stability, minimal toxicity, non-corrosiveness and non-flammability. Although more common in automotive air conditioners, this refrigerant can also be used in commercial refrigeration systems, especially large refrigerators. For example, this is the refrigerant used during the Aramco project in Saudi Arabia. The recent discovery of this chemical in various parts of the world can cause global warming and hinder its use.


Ammonia is one of the so-called halogen-free chemicals. It may be the oldest refrigerant in industrial cooling equipment and one of the oldest. Its heat absorption rate per unit volume is unparalleled. This alone can be used in smaller parts without the need for large cooling equipment. Other attractive features include high critical point, high performance coefficient and low molecular weight. Like other refrigerants, ammonia has its downsides. For example, it is harmful to the skin, eyes and throat.

O 2 R744

Due to its minimal impact on the environment, CO 2 scores very high. The refrigerant is also non-flammable and non-toxic. However, despite these pleasant properties, the refrigerant still needs to be handled with care. First, the chemicals are heavy, which means that if a leak occurs, it will replace the oxygen in the room. Combining this with the odorless fact can create a very dangerous situation. What makes the use of CO 2 in industrial refrigeration equipment so challenging? It mainly revolves around the efficiency, size and cost of the system. The pressure of approximately 4,000 psi brings huge cost and technical challenges to the heat exchanger and compressor.


Water has been used as a refrigerant for decades, and it never stops. In addition to being easily available, the substance also has impeccable chemical and thermodynamic properties. It cannot be regarded as a refrigerant by itself, but it will be cooled in a cooling device and then introduced into the circuit to lower the temperature. However, it presents some technical challenges. These factors include the high pressure ratio of the compressor and the outlet temperature. Please also note that water can only be used as a refrigerant when the ambient temperature is higher than 100°C. Fortunately, the engineering solutions provided by Pace make water a viable refrigerant for modern industrial refrigeration equipment.

Hydrocarbons (HCs)

HC is usually supplied in the form of R600a (isobutylene) or R290 (propane). You will find these chemicals in household refrigeration systems, commercial refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems. The flammability of these substances requires special safety devices, but some factories are willing to take extra precautions. The ODP of propane is zero, making it suitable for industrial cooling. As a natural refrigerant, the chemical will not have any impact on global warming. Although the regulations of each country may be different, some opinions regarding the use and handling of hydrocarbons in industrial refrigeration equipment seem to have an impact on all aspects:

l Keep away from fire and sparks

l Avoid welding in this area

l Use explosion-proof electronic control

l Only use ultrasonic welding

In summary

It is recommended to choose a refrigerant based on four factors, namely safety, environmental impact, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

The most important consideration

The energy efficiency of industrial refrigeration plants cannot be ignored because it directly affects profitability. We are very passionate about the ability of refrigerants to improve the energy efficiency of our facilities. Due to concerns about environmental degradation, the prospects for natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrocarbons are bright. However, the fact remains that each refrigerant has its own advantages and disadvantages.


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