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Air as Next-Gen Refrigerant Going Natural: Is Air the Future of Refrigeration?

Editor: Dominik Stephan

The current F-gas regulation forces plant operators and planners to rethink their processes: Alternatives to conventional refrigerants with their often high greenhouse gas potential are needed. But sometimes the good is so obvious: a new process with ambient air wants to exceed the requirements of the industry.

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Cooling with air: The cryoblizzard proved its worth during the retrofit of a freeze dryer.
Cooling with air: The cryoblizzard proved its worth during the retrofit of a freeze dryer.
(Source: Hof Sonderanlagenbau; © - [M] Frank)

Pharmaceuticals, biotech production or chemical industries: The entire industry is currently in upheaval due to the social and political rules and regulations with regard to climate change, and many operating companies are unsure. This concerns refrigeration in particular, as the established technologies established in this field are increasingly restricted through political regulations and bans and through shortages. For plants with a service life of over 30 years, operating companies focus especially on the future-proof design, reliability and quality of their plants. Energy efficiency, safety, selection of components, documentation and durability are also crucial factors that force engineers to consider alternative approaches.

Could e.g. air be used as an alternative refrigerant? Its climate warming potential (GWP) at least is zero. Oliver Fleischer, responsible for the Development of Refrigeration Technology and Service Manager at Hof Sonderanlagenbau, would agree: "Air is available, non-flammable, non-toxic and poses no risk of suffocation. Air has no GWP and is therefore not subject to the F-Gas Regulation or other directives. That is the future!”