"Natural refrigerants" are substances that occur naturally in nature and can be used as refrigerants in cooling and refrigeration systems. They represent a sustainable alternative to traditional refrigerants.
Technically, natural refrigerants aren't actually derived from nature. They're still manufactured industrially like any other refrigerant on the market.
They get their moniker from the fact that all of the substances naturally occur in nature, outside of our manufacturing processes. Similar to a "made with natural ingredients" label, these refrigerants are the synthetic version of a naturally occurring substance.
Natural refrigerants are the all-stars of the refrigerant world: they’re sustainable, have a low-climate impact, and can even reduce energy, gas, and water consumption.
Types of Natural Refrigerants
The most commonly used substances are ammonia (NH3), carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrocarbons (propane or isobutane). These products were used in refrigeration and cooling systems until about the 1930s, when fluorinated gases (f-gases) became more common in refrigeration systems.
Since then, we’ve learned more about the devastating climate effects of f-gases and have started the shift “back to the future:” natural refrigerants.
Natural refrigerants have a much lower climate impact, measured by a gas’ contribution to global warming. Global Warming Potential (GWP) is benchmarked with CO2’s impact measured at 1. On average, natural refrigerants are 3,348 better for the climate.
Hydrocarbons (propane, isobutane)
Getting Started with Natural Refrigerants
Natural refrigerants are well-known, researched, and proven. They offer the best future-proof solution to refrigeration and cooling systems amid changing regulations. With a negligible impact on the environment, they’re a no brainer.