Environmentally-friendly refrigerants, the story so far
Refrigerants are a key part of our day to day lives, used in our hospitals, cars, homes and supermarkets, it’s difficult to imagine a world without them.
In the last century the development of refrigerants has been led by technological advances and a better understanding of the global environmental impact.
As the industry continues to evolve and adapt, we have developed some exciting new refrigerant alternatives that will help to transform the industry and support sustainable innovation.
History of refrigerants
From as early as 1756 scientists and philosophers worked with a range of substances to uncover their cooling properties, researching and testing to adapt for safe, indoor use. But it wasn’t until 1928 when the first major breakthrough was uncovered.
Albert Henne, Thomas Midgley and Robert McNary created chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants in 1928, producing “the world’s first non-flammable refrigerating fluids, greatly improving the safety of air conditioners.”
R-22 was one of the compounds developed, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HFC) that became a standard refrigerant used in residential air conditioners for the decades that followed.
As the use of refrigerants soared during the 60s and 70s, the industry realised that they needed to come together to improve upon the CFCs and HFCs used, to limit the impact on the environment.
Sustainability driving development
An international agreement, The Montreal Protocol treaty was signed by over 197 countries in 1987, which showed the industry’s global commitment to reducing emissions and improving sustainability, with CFCs being phased out in 1996.
Since 2015, over 100 companies worldwide have now committed to phasing out HFCs, to reduce emissions. Europe and the US have led the way, with regulations stipulating a 79 per cent reduction by 2030.
The phase out will have a significant impact on the environment and across industries for the better, as the new regulations encourage companies to invest in new climate friendly alternatives.
Current landscape and innovations
Our Koura team is dedicated to innovation and providing future proof solutions to our global customers. We have invested a significant amount into the research and development of more sustainable refrigerants – trebling our investment since 2012.
For fifteen years, our ongoing research and development program has been a key focus for the company, with product development part of our ongoing evolution.
Our latest development refrigerants can be used across the commercial, pharmaceutical, medical, HVAC and automotive sectors to provide improved energy efficiency and improved cooling capacity.
These innovative new products have low flammability, with proven excellent performance and lower global warming potential (GWP). They offer up to a 95% reduction in GWP while maintaining energy efficiency, in very low temperature refrigeration compared to current technology available.
Future of refrigerants
The global HVAC industry continues to grow, predicted to reach over $367.5 billion dollars by 2030, with high demand from countries around the world, including the US, China and India.
The Koura team is dedicated to producing exciting new developments to support increased demand and the changing landscape across the globe.