Cold-chain chemistry: Chemours advances sustainable TRU refrigerant technology

Refrigerated fleets trying to find to reduce their carbon footprint now can do so whether or not they are running Thermo King or Provider Transicold transport refrigeration models (TRUs). Provider Transicold began offering R-452A, a following-technology refrigerant with a small worldwide warming probable (GWP), in December 2020 as a North American alternative for new and present reefer tools, and Thermo King reported in January the refrigerant will be standard in all of its truck and trailer models by mid-12 months.

But who is behind this new refrigerant know-how? Nicely, two firms in fact—Chemours and Honeywell, who have labored collectively to develop and develop hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants like R-452A, the minimal-GWP alternate to R-404A for transportation refrigeration machines, and R-1234yf, which is a broadly recognized world-wide alternative for R134A in automotive air conditioning programs.

Honeywell, established in 1906, is effectively-recognized in cold chain circles. Chemours, started in 2015, is significantly less recognizable—but its cold-chain heritage operates similarly as deep. Which is mainly because the organization was spun off from DuPont—which was founded back again in 1802—with sustainability as its leading priority the similar year in which DuPont merged with Dow Chemical to variety DuPont de Nemours.

“We’re the company that efficiently invented the refrigeration group, and we carry on to be a foremost innovator in the room across numerous apps,” claimed Alisha Bellezza, president of Chemours’ Thermal & Specialized Remedies business enterprise, who a short while ago spoke to Refrigerated Transporter about Chemours’ legacy, the evolution of far more sustainable refrigerants, and how it’s encouraging companies and fleets go inexperienced.

Evolving know-how

The company’s endeavours day to the 1930s, when DuPont and Standard Motors mixed their considerable assets to establish Freon as a fluorocarbon refrigerant that was safer and much more powerful than that era’s more poisonous choices. And Bellezza claims they’ve been working tough to make improvements to and excellent the technological know-how ever due to the fact. “The technological know-how has evolved as the environment learns additional about the impacts of the chemistry, and how to get far better chemistry that is just as powerful, as far as cooling alternatives, but with a considerably lower impact on the surroundings,” she reported.

“So we went from CFC chemistry, or chlorofluorocarbons, to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and now, with our Opteon portfolio—a spin off from Freon—we’re centered on HFO know-how. It characteristics no ozone depletion and a lower world wide warming possible, and nevertheless however achieves the effectiveness and the usefulness that is essential in lots of unique sorts of AC units and insulated devices.”

Opteon XP44 is the trade name for Chemours’ R-452A refrigerant (Honeywell phone calls it Solstice 452A), which was designed in the company’s Newark, Del., Chemours Discovery Hub, where a employees of additional than 400 researchers are committed to building and tests highly developed refrigeration technological innovation.

According to Bellezza, equipping vehicles with Opteon refrigerants held 100 million tons of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere between 2015 and 2020—the equal of getting 20 million cars and trucks off the road each yr. “We all want to be very good stewards of our environment, so we can go outdoors and delight in a inexperienced world that is not overheated,” she said. “And which is going to get the contributions of every single person and firm that can make an impact.

“That’s why there is escalating visibility and scrutiny on every single company’s CO2 footprint.”

Chilly-chain worry

In addition to California Air Methods Board (CARB) expectations, which call for TRUs operating in California to use refrigerants with a GWP of 2200 or less—the GWP of R452A is 2140—starting in 2023, Bellezza pointed to the American Innovation and Producing Act, which directs the U.S. Environmental Safety Agency’s (EPA’s) HFC phasedown, and the European Union’s F-fuel laws as changeover motivators.

“We’re happy with the way the current administration is supporting local climate policy, and receiving the U.S. back again in alignment on the global stage with the Kigali phasedown timetable for HFCs (below the 2016 Montreal Protocol),” Bellezza said. “That will have a spectacular impact throughout the space—and in this sector in certain.

“We will need to be in a position to retain foodstuff refreshing, we require our vaccines to continue to be chilly, and we need other pharmaceuticals to be in temperature-controlled environments. But the quantity of that site visitors has elevated in excess of the many years. So it is about becoming aware of how just about every tiny stage in the chain can close up ensuing in an accumulation.

“But if we use the correct methods, we can lower that environmental footprint, and clearly show this sector can definitely make an effects.”

Chemours largely associates with tools manufacturers to promote its lower GWP answers, but Bellezza claimed the business also will function specifically with fleet managers who want to boost the sustainability of current refrigeration tools. “We’re usually open up to obtaining conversations about how we can support them retrofit,” she said, adding that XP44 is a fantastic substitute alternative for sure older TRU products.

The chemical organization is just not completed advancing its engineering both. Bellezza claimed Chemours’ Thermal & Specialised Alternatives unit stays fully commited to building at any time extra sustainable refrigerant methods likely ahead. “We’re not resting on XP44,” she explained. “We have the following-gen Opteon XL line, which we feel is the future opportunity to get GWP even lower—while nonetheless maintaining the functionality characteristics essential.

“Beyond that, we keep on to search for innovation and prospects that even further boost the technologies.”

Stacee R. Grigg

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