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Refrigerants Revealed: What You Need to Know about Refrigerants Today

Introduction to Refrigerants

The topic of refrigerants has skyrocketed in recent years. A simple mention of the word brings a deluge of ideas about safety, effectiveness, and environmental impact. But how do you cut through the clutter and determine what is most important when it comes to refrigerants? Good question. This article will explore a brief history of refrigerants, why they’re important, and what it means for your equipment and environment today. Let’s dive in.   

A Brief History of Refrigerants 

Refrigerants are a major player in commercial cold storage. Refrigerants are the cooling substances used in cold storage equipment that cycle between liquid and gas phases to cool a chamber. Refrigerants have gained significant attention in recent years because of their often-hazardous impact on the environment. To understand why these substances are so crucial, let’s explore a brief history of how they began and evolved.

CFC Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Chlorofluorocarbons were among the first chemical substances used as refrigerants in the early 1900s. Their use gained momentum and spread widely into the mid to late 1900s. However, developed countries stopped producing CFCs in 1995 because of their vast depletion of the ozone layer and the elevated risk for global warming.

HCFC hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFCs entered the scene as a replacement refrigerant for CFCs. This refrigerant has an ozone depleting potential just a fraction of CFC refrigerants. However, this compound still poses risks, and many HCFCs were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as of 2020. 

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