INDIA: SRF Ltd claims to be the first Indian refrigerant manufacturer to have attained an ASHRAE refrigerant classification with its new refrigerant blend R467A, a possible retrofit for R22.
Said to have been developed using in-house, patented technology, SRF describes R467A as a non-toxic, mildly flammable, low GWP refrigerant blend for stationary air conditioning applications. The refrigerant is said to offer “superior refrigerant performance and stability” and will be marketed under SRF’s Floron brand of refrigerants.
Although ASHRAE classification is a significant landmark for the Delhi-based manufacturer, the refrigerant’s specification leaves a number of unanswered questions as to its application and international acceptability.
While the SRF announcement makes no reference to the blend constituents, ASHRAE’s own data reveals R467A to be a mix of 22% R32, 5% R125, 72.4% R134a and 0.6% R600a (isobutane). Using AR4 values, that would give R467A a GWP of around 1359, a relatively high value for an A2L, and twice the GWP of R32.
SRF puts the GWP at 1330 and further describes R467A as “an ideal retrofit solution for many existing R22 systems across a wide range of applications, including low and medium temperature refrigeration equipment and air conditioning systems”. This is despite the refrigeration and air conditioning industry previously warning that retrofitting a flammable refrigerant into a system not designed for it raises safety, standards and compliance concerns.
R22 is still widely used in India and even under the Montreal Protocol will not be phased out until 2030. As environmental concerns grow, and in light of the Kigali amendment, there have been moves in India to avoid the obvious switch to R410A and move straight to R32 or propane in new equipment.
Despite the unanswered questions, Prashant Yadav, SRF’s president and CEO of its Fluorochemicals Business, said, “An approval by the ASHRAE standards committee is testimony to the fact that SRF has always been at the forefront of major fluorine-based gas transitions set by international regulations to reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases. Backed by breakthrough R&D, SRF continues to remain committed to developing the next-generation of fluorinated gases that have minimal impact on the environment. We believe that this will provide a good mid-term solution and option to our customers globally.”
Established in 1970, SRF boasts an annual turnover of around US$1,077m and currently serves customers in more than 60 countries worldwide.
It manufactures R134a and R32, adding R125 with the purchase of Mexichem’s UK-based manufacturing business in 2017. In addition to these refrigerants, SRF also sells R152a and the HFC blends R404A, R407C, R407A and R410A.