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Gases Used in Refrigerators

What is refrigerator gases?

Refrigerator Gases

Refrigerator gases are substances used in various cooling and refrigeration systems to transfer heat and facilitate the cooling process. They cycle through a refrigeration system, changing from a gas to a liquid and back again, absorbing heat from the surroundings and releasing it elsewhere. Refrigerator gases are essential for maintaining low temperatures in refrigerators, air conditioners, heat pumps, and other cooling equipment.






Refrigerator Gases Types and Characteristics

  1. R-134a (1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane): R-134a is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant used in many automotive air conditioning systems and some household refrigeration units. It has a low ozone depletion potential but a relatively high global warming potential.
  2. R-410A (Puron): R-410A is another HFC refrigerant commonly used in residential and commercial air conditioning systems. It has a significantly lower impact on ozone depletion compared to older refrigerants.
  3. R-22 (Chlorodifluoromethane): R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant that has been widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. However, its production has been phased out due to its harmful impact on the ozone layer, and it is being replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives.
  4. R-407C: R-407C is an HFC blend used as a replacement for R-22 in some air conditioning systems. It is considered less harmful to the environment.
  5. R-404A: R-404A is a widely used HFC refrigerator gases in commercial refrigeration, especially in supermarket display cases and industrial freezers.
  6. R-290 (Propane): Propane is a hydrocarbon refrigerant with very low global warming potential. It is considered an environmentally friendly option and is used in some household refrigerators and freezers.
  7. R-600a (Isobutane): Isobutane is another hydrocarbon refrigerant with low global warming potential. It is used in some household refrigeration and cooling appliances.
  8. Ammonia (NH3): Ammonia is an environmentally friendly refrigerant commonly used in industrial and commercial refrigeration systems, especially in large-scale applications.
  9. CO2 (Carbon Dioxide): Carbon dioxide is used in some commercial and industrial refrigeration systems, often in transcritical applications. It is known for its low environmental impact.
  10. R-717 (Ammonia): Ammonia is also sometimes denoted as R-717 when used as a refrigerant.
Type ASHRAE Number Molecular Formula Global-Warming Potential (GWP)*1 Toxicity & Flammability Class
CFC R-12 CCl2F2 10,900 A1
R-11 CCl3F 4,750 A1
R-502 HCFC-22/CFC-115 4,520 A1
HCFC R-22 CHClF2 1,810 A1
R-123 CHCl2CF3 77 B1
HFC R-410a HFC-32/125 2,090 A1
R-407c HFC-32/125/134a 1,770 A1
R-134a CH2FCF3 1,430 A1
R-32 CH2F2 675 A2L
R-454b HFC-32/HFO-1234yf 466 A2L
R-152a CH3CHF2 124 A2
HFO R-1234yf CH2=CFCF3 1 A2L
Natural Refrigerants including Hydrocarbons R-290 C3H8(Propane) 10 A3
R-600a CH(CH3)3 (Isobutane) 4 A3
R-1270 C3H6(Propylene) 3 A3
R-744 CO2(Carbon dioxide) 1 A1
What is the most common refrigerant gas used in refrigerator(refrigerator gases) ?
Freon™ R-134a refrigerantRefrigerator Gases
Freon™ R-134a refrigerant gas is now most commonly used. Its versatility allows it to work in home systems ranging from small under-the-counter refrigerators to family-sized refrigeration/freezer systems with multiple cooling compartments.

R-134a – Tetrafluoroethane. Commonly used. This refrigerant is ozone friendly but is a potent greenhouse gas and and such will be phased out in the future. It was introduced as a replacement for R12 which was highly ozone depleting.

R-600a– Iso butane. Commonly used refrigerator gas in modern fridges. Flammable.

There is a trend away from R134A to R600A. This is due to R134A being no longer seen as ‘green’ due to its global warming potential.

What is R22 and R32 refrigerator gases ?
Flammability: R32 has a lower flammability compared to R22 and R410A, making it a safer option for air conditioning systems. Toxicity: R32 is considered to be less toxic compared to R22 and R410A, but it should still be handled with caution to avoid potential harm to humans and the environment.
It’s important to note that the choice of refrigerant in a refrigerator depends on various factors, including safety, efficiency, and environmental considerations. Regulations and standards may vary by region, leading to different refrigerant choices in different parts of the world.

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