spidermanchild ,

Love to see it. Unfortunately we're still early in the phaseout of HFCs via Kigali, and the chemical companies are doing their best to inject HFOs (and resulting PFAS) as far and wide as possible. We all need to shift to natural refrigerants ASAP. If you're buying a refrigerator, make sure it's r600a, a heat pump, r290 or r744, etc. Say no to HFOs (and HFCs).

Isomar ,

Hey there your friendly neighborhood ref tech. R600a and R290 are straight up bad ideas ( more than a wee bit flammable (isobutan / Propane) ) and although r744 is good ( CO2 ) it's pressure are nuts. ( the whole system needs to be made of steel/iron) and would not work well with most common split systems. So ya nice idea I am not sure what's next but these are not the answers in private residents.

spidermanchild ,

Why don't you actually prove that the dangers are significant before writing them off? Just because it's flammable doesn't mean it's dangerous, so just saying flammable = "bad idea" isn't a good enough argument. We have been using isobutane for years for refrigerators. And propane for years for refrigerated cases. They are already here. There are low charge limits in place already, and guess what - these appliances aren't blowing up and killing people. There are monobloc propane heat pump systems all over Europe and Asia already. CO2 does require high pressures, but that can be engineered.

We already have literal methane being piped into multiple appliances in people's homes, often unvented, we have people driving around with 20+ gallons of gasoline next to their children in SUVs, we have wiring in every wall of buildings that can all start fires, we have batteries in our pockets and cars and bikes, etc. We have UL and TUV and other groups certifying equipment for safety, let them do their jobs instead of writing off these critically important solutions. The status quo isn't good enough and the chemical industry has a dog shit track record.

Isomar ,

OK.. where to start... So in a fix application with limited charge ( like a fridge) yup good to go.. yo get everything rated no problems there... isobuten for that application go for it..

Propane.. so if you ues in splits and heat pumps is a problem. ( yes they use them in gas plants but everything is explosion proof ). As you can't have limited charge depending on tonnage. And Propane has a very very nasty habit of settling to the lowest spot ( heavier than air) so if you develop a leak in your system your turning your house in to a bomb.

I do think CO2 ( some adjustments would need to be made and a buch more work for welders ) will work good on the commercial side. ( grocery store racks and the like. ) I am not sold on it residential. --- would work better where most buildings already have cooling/heating loops with glycol. Witch in not north America.

And on a note for NG ( methane) the pressure is less than .25 a psi in a home and it is lighter than are so tends to float up and out if leaking.. and it smells.. ( do to an oderent. ) On that note the Propane that would be used in these types of system would not have that smell so even more of a worry.

spidermanchild ,

Great, we're in agreement that self contained appliances can all use propane and isobutane then. That covers refrigerators, freezers, heat pump waters heaters (not split ones though, heat pump dryers, and a bunch of commercial refrigeration products like display cases at grocery stores. That was a good chunk of my comment.

What were seeing in e.g. Europe is monoblock heat pumps, where it's also self contained and not split and they use e.g. a glycol mix as to transfer heat between inside/outside. This has pros and cons of course, but it solves the propane danger for a split system with a larger charge by keeping the propane outside. The con is freezing climates where there is risk of pipes bursting during power outages, but that's manageable with failsafes. For true split systems, I agree that propane is problematic and CO2 is more promising. But we don't have to use split systems everywhere either. I'm not aware of any reason we can't add mercaptan to propane, unless it messes with the refrigerant characteristics. The low psi methane pipes can also easily make a bomb out of your house because the supply is unlimited, so I don't see that as more dangerous than a fixed (low) charge in a sealed system.

We can solve these issues though, and my point is that the work involved is worth it to eliminate the dangers of synthetic refrigerants. I appreciate your perspective, thanks for the conversation!

Tautvydaxx ,

There are some cars driving around with r744. In a crash the front explodes like a bomb, but it doesnt get on fire

Skasi ,

I think linking directly to the quoted source instead would've been a better choice considering it's not behind an - albeit very weak - pay/subscribe wall.

silence7 OP Mod ,

It's a gift link, so people shouldn't hit the paywall for the next two weeks unless they're doing something unusual, like disabling JavaScript or running a browser extension which strips off the paywall-bypass token.

Skasi ,

Well it's still asking for a subscription and hides the entire article. I could only read it after some manual HTML/CSS cleanups.


silence7 OP Mod , (edited )

That's fairly new; they weren't doing that before.

I've pretty much always used a throwaway email address for that kind of thing.

snooggums ,
@snooggums@midwest.social avatar

Every time someone says we can't just stop polluting because it is too late this should be brought front and center. Yes, it took decades to reach this point and the problem is not truely solved yet, but not continuing to pollute kept things from getting worse and a potentional recovery is now on the horizon.

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