What are natural refrigerants?
Natural refrigerants, such as ammonia, CO2 but also hydrocarbons, have proven their worth in refrigeration technology for decades. Hydrocarbons such as n-butane (DRIVOSOL® R600), isobutane (DRIVOSOL® R600a) and propane (DRIVOSOL® R290) are now available from Evonik. They are compounds containing only hydrogen and carbon, and thus represent an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient alternative to existing refrigerants for manufacturers of refrigerators, freezers, heat pumps, etc.
Natural refrigerants contribute only slightly to global warming. Propane, butane and isobutane, for example, have a CO2 equivalent or Global Warming Potential, short GWP, of 3. This means that one kilogram of the three natural refrigerants contributes 3 times as much to the greenhouse effect as one kilogram of CO2 within the first 100 years after release. Fluorinated refrigerants used to be commercially available; by comparison, these have a GWP of over 1400. In addition, hydrocarbons do not contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion. Their Ozone Depletion Potential, or ODP, is 0.
In the so-called F-Gas Regulation, an EU regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases, refrigerants are categorized in terms of their GWP and ODP values. Substances with particularly high values will be phased out in order to reduce fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions in the EU to 35 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030. Natural refrigerants are therefore considered to be an environmentally friendly substitute and also have significantly higher energy efficiency than other refrigerants.
With regards to the current climate debate, this means a contribution to more sustainability in the field of refrigeration technology. Natural refrigerants are available immediately and in unlimited quantities. In addition to their environmental compatibility, natural refrigerants are characterized by high energy efficiency and therefore reduce the indirect greenhouse effect. Thanks to technical progress, refrigerants can now be used safely, efficiently and, above all, cost-effectively, benefiting both manufacturers and end customers.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, hydrocarbons offer cost advantages in heating, cooling and freezing. Over the last few years, the use of high-quality hydrocarbons as refrigerants has proven successful due to their good compatibility and miscibility with the most common cooling lubricants.
What are DRIVOSOL® R290, R600 and R60a used for?
The natural refrigerants R290, R600 and R600a are hydrocarbons and can be used in almost any refrigeration application. Typical applications for these refrigerants are household refrigerators and freezers, bottle coolers, ice machines and refrigerated counters. However, hydrocarbons are also used as natural refrigerants in refrigeration applications such as commercial refrigerators, beer coolers and beverage dispensers. Other applications include dehumidifiers or heat pumps.
Hydrocarbons as natural refrigerants - a few technical details
DRIVOSOL® R290 (CAS No.: 74-98-6): Due to its excellent thermodynamic and refrigeration properties, propane is an efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant substitute, especially in air conditioning systems that are operated at high outside temperatures (>+50 °C).
Here you can find additional product information (e.g. technical data sheet, MSDS, etc.) on DRIVOSOL® R290.
DRIVOSOL® R600 (CAS No.:106-97-8) and DRIVOSOL® R600a (CAS No.: 72-28-5):
The hydrocarbons n-butane and iso-butane are characterized above all by better operating behavior with lower refrigerant charge compared to conventional refrigerants. They therefore meet all the essential requirements of refrigeration technology.
Here you can find additional product information (e.g. technical data sheet, MSDS, etc.) on DRIVOSOL® R600.
Here you can find additional product information (e.g. technical data sheet, MSDS, etc.) on DRIVOSOL® R600a.
Where are the gases R290, R600 and R600a produced & how are they transported?
In our state-of-the-art C4 Verbund, we process various raw material streams such as crack C4 or FCC-C4 (Fluid Catalytic Cracking -C4) from steam crackers or refineries. We produce the natural refrigerants R290, R600 and R600a at our site in Marl, Germany. During production, we place particular emphasis on innovative purification steps and comprehensive analyses from the raw material to the finished product - this enables us to provide our customers with consistently high quality of these high-purity hydrocarbons.
Together with our logistics partners, we offer demand-driven transport to your door with a dedicated fleet of tank trucks:
- Extra-light duplex steel trucks with higher payloads
- Savings in CO2 emissions
- Efficient & easy handling at service stations
- More safety for plant personnel & drivers through integrated sensors & monitoring technology
In addition, you can obtain the natural refrigerants R290, R600 and R600a in rail tank cars or ISO tank containers.
How can you contact us?
Sarah Kranz is your contact person for everything to do with DRIVOSOL®. She will be happy to help you with any questions you may have on the subject of natural refrigerants. Are you interested? Then simply contact Ms. Kranz by e-mail, phone or via LinkedIn.