Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dangerous R-134a Contamination Found Worldwide

December 21, 2011
|
By aftermarketNews staff


EXTON, Pa. – Neutronics, a provider of gas analysis and gas handling technologies, yesterday issued a warning distributed by the Mobile Air Conditioning Society, advising that all industries using R-134a refrigerant immediately test all cylinders thought to be virgin R-134a (including new 30 pound cylinders) due to reports of widespread contamination.

Several months ago, Neutronics' Refrigerant Analysis Division was engaged by the ocean-going shipping industry to assist with a R-134a refrigerant contamination problem that reportedly resulted in several deaths and a significant interruption to ocean-going transport. During the course of this activity, Neutronics reports that it was discovered that this dangerous refrigerant contamination problem was not isolated to a single industry but had potentially penetrated the R-134a refrigerant supply for applications in many global markets, including automotive.

Much of the contaminated R-134a refrigerant has been shown to contain significant quantities of R-40 (aka Methyl Chloride or Chloromethane). R-40 is extremely toxic, flammable and highly reactive when exposed to aluminum in that it forms a third, highly volatile compound. Neutronics points out that it is critical to note the safety concerns with R-40. It is a harmful and dangerous material that is not suited for use in R-134a refrigeration air conditioning systems. Most, if not all of the contaminated R-134a has been found in counterfeit labeled "virgin" R-134a cylinders. In one instance, Neutronics says it was reported that "thousands" of 30 lb. R-134a refrigerant cylinders have been found to be counterfeits of name-brand product. Other suspect virgin R-134a containers have also been found to contain large quantities of R-22 and R-12 refrigerants.

Neutronics says it has evaluated the performance of both current and legacy refrigerant identifiers to determine their suitability for use in testing cylinders with the suspect R-40 material. To date, all reported cases of "virgin" cylinder contamination have included at least 30 percent to -40 percent R-40 in the cylinder.

No current or previous Neutronics R-134a identifier is/was designed for detection of R40 as a direct contaminant. Not all Neutronics refrigerant identifiers are suitable for safely detecting the presence of R-40 in R-134a (e.g. the "Mini ID R-134a" identifier is not suitable for R-40 detection).

A new reference chart published by Neutronics Refrigerant Analysis is now available on the Neutronics website that details the various Neutronics Identifiers currently in the field and how they should react when exposed to R-40 refrigerant. Interested parties should visit www.refrigerantid.com for more information. This information will be readily available on the home page.

As refrigerant identification equipment is widely used in the automotive service industry, Neutronics has determined that its "DX" model automotive refrigerant identifier that meets SAE J1771 requirements can be used for testing "virgin" R134a cylinders to determine the possible presence of the R-40 contaminant.

Neutronics Vice President Peter Coll commented, "As far as R-134a contaminants are concerned, R-40 is about as bad as it can get. Neutronics Refrigerant Analysis will continue to work closely with SAE, AHR and all other pertinent organizations to help mitigate this very troublesome development."

For additional information, contact Neutronics toll-free at 800-378-2287.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dangerous R-134a Contamination Found Worldwide

Immediate call to check all R-134a Cylinders Worldwide for Contamination
Exton, PA (December 21, 2011)-Neutronics has issued the following urgent “Statement of Action” to all industries using R134a refrigerant:

Statement of Action
After review of information provided by many reputable sources, Neutronics urgently advises that all industries using R-134a refrigerant immediately test all cylinders thought to be virgin R-134a (including new 30 pound cylinders). This can be done with a Neutronics Ultima ID DX or HV series Refrigerant Identifier. Any cylinder that is “failed” by the identifier or found to contain 100% R134a with ANY “Air” or “Non(NCG)” should be isolated. It has been reported that cylinders containing contaminated refrigerant are marked as “R-134a” and some have counterfeit name brand chemical company labeling. This contaminated refrigerant cannot be identified using standard pressure and temperature measurements of the cylinder.


Background
Several months ago, Neutronics Inc., Refrigerant Analysis Division, was engaged by the ocean going shipping industry to assist with a R-134a refrigerant contamination problem that reportedly resulted in several deaths and a significant interruption to ocean going transport. During the course of this activity, it was discovered that this dangerous refrigerant contamination problem was not isolated to a single industry but had potentially penetrated the R-134a refrigerant supply for applications in many global markets including automotive.

Much of the contaminated R-134a refrigerant has been shown to contain significant quantities of R-40 (aka Methyl Chloride or Chloromethane). R-40 is extremely toxic, flammable and highly reactive when exposed to aluminum in that it forms a third, highly volatile compound. It is critical to note the safety concerns that R-40 is a harmful and dangerous material that is not suited for use in R-134a refrigeration air conditioning systems. Most, if not all of the contaminated R-134a has been found in counterfeit labeled “virgin” R-134a cylinders. In one instance it was reported that “thousands” of 30 lb. R-134a refrigerant cylinders have been found to be counterfeits of name brand product. Other suspect virgin R-134a containers have also been found to contain large quantities of R-22 and R-12 refrigerants.

The vast majority of Neutronics manufactured refrigerant identifiers are configured for the detection of R-134a, R-12, R-22 and Hydrocarbons.
It is important to note that the ONLY acceptable readings on Neutronics Ultima ID DX or HV series refrigerant identifiers for a “virgin” R-134a cylinder are:

R134a
100%
R12
0.0%
R22
0.0%
HC
0.0%
Air/Non
0.0%





No current or previous Neutronics R-134a identifier is/was designed for detection of R40 as a direct contaminant. Not all Neutronics refrigerant identifiers are suitable for safely detecting the presence of R-40 in R-134a (e.g. the “Mini ID R-134a” identifier is not suitable for R-40 detection). Neutronics has evaluated the performance of both current and legacy refrigerant identifiers to determine their suitability for use in testing cylinders with the suspect R-40 material. To date, all reported cases of “virgin” cylinder contamination have included at least 30%-40% R-40 in the cylinder.

A new reference chart published by Neutronics Refrigerant Analysis is now available on the Neutronics website that details the various Neutronics Identifiers currently in the field and how they should react when exposed to R-40 refrigerant. Interested parties should visit www.refrigerantid.com for more information. This information will be readily available on the home page.

As refrigerant identification equipment is widely used in the automotive service industry, Neutronics has determined that their “DX” model automotive refrigerant identifier that meets SAE J1771 requirements can be used for testing “virgin” R134a cylinders to determine the possible presence of the R-40 contaminant.

Neutronics Vice President Peter Coll commented, “As far as R-134a contaminants are concerned, R-40 is about as bad as it can get. Neutronics Refrigerant Analysis will continue to work closely with SAE, AHR and all other pertinent organizations to help mitigate this very troublesome development.”

For additional information, please contact Peter Halpern, Marketing Manager or Peter Coll, Vice President, Neutronics Inc., 456 Creamery Way, Exton, PA 19341, 610-524-8800, 610-524-8807(f), or toll-free 800-378-2287.

Monday, December 19, 2011

EU to investigate Honeywell and DuPont over 1234yf

Published on 19 - December - 2011

THE European Commission has opened antitrust proceedings concerning agreements between Honeywell and DuPont for the development of the new HFO-1234yf refrigerants.

The investigation will consider if both companies acted together to restrict competition when launching the new low GWP refrigerant. The inquiry will also look into whether Honeywell may hold and abuse a dominant position over the refrigerant that has been announced as a suitable replacement for R134a in car air conditioning systems.

As part of the investigation the Commission is considering complaints alleging that Honeywell and DuPont entered into anti-competitive arrangements as regards the development of the new generation of refrigerants.

Specifically, the Commission will investigate whether joint development, licensing and production arrangements entered into between the two companies in relation to these refrigerants restrict competition on the markets. Such behaviour, it says, may infringe Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement.

The Commission is also examining whether Honeywell engaged in deceptive conduct during the evaluation of 1234yf between 2007 and 2009. It is claimed that Honeywell did not disclose its patents and patent applications while the refrigerant was being assessed and then failed to grant licences on fair and reasonable (so called "FRAND") terms. Such behaviour may also infringe European competition rules (Article 102 of the TFEU and Article 54 of the EEA Agreement).

Québec Adopts Regulation Establishing the Cap-and-Trade System for Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowances

Yesterday, Québec's Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand announced the adoption of the Regulation respecting the cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances, which is based on the rules established by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). 

"Cap-and-trade systems for emission allowances are recognized as one of the most effective and least costly economic tools for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By adopting this regulation, Québec acquires the means to achieve the transition toward a green, sustainable and prosperous economy", declared Minister Arcand. 

Québec thus officially steps to the starting line, next to California. The first year of implementation of the system will be a transition year. It will begin on January 1, 2012 and will allow emitters and participants to familiarize themselves with how the system works. Over the course of the year, emitters will also be able to make any adjustments that may be necessary to meet their obligations under the system for capping and reducing GHG emissions, which will come into force on January 1, 2013. 

Industrial establishments subject to the system are those that emit 25 000 tonnes or more of CO2 equivalent per year. Note however that starting in 2015, companies that import or distribute in Québec fuels that are used in the transportation and building sectors (and whose combustion generates an amount of GHGs greater than or equal to 25 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year) will also be subject to the capping and reduction of their emissions. 

For all participating members of the WCI, the adoption of a regulation establishing a cap-and-trade system for GHG emission allowances is the first of two main steps toward the emergence of a regional North American carbon market. The second step will consist of concluding a series of recognition agreements, between the different partners, to link their systems together. 

"The results of the international conference on climate change at Durban show clearly that regional initiatives like the WCI play a key role in efforts to reduce GHG emissions worldwide. Québec is one of the leaders in the fight against climate change, and that is something to be proud of," concluded the Minister. 

More information, including links to the text of the regulation, is available on the website of the Ministère at: 
http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/changements/carbone/Systeme-plafonnement-droits-GES-en.htm

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rem Tec Opens QA Facility in China

RemTec International has opened a Quality Assurance Facility in Shanghai, China for refrigerants.
"Our new Quality Assurance Program is designed specifically for refrigerants and fire protection agents packaged in cylinders or bulk tanks," says Patti Ellingson, Rem Tec's director of wholesale distribution.


"This program was initially designed as a solution to the moisture and unsaturated issues coming out of China, but has turned into a solution for the industry, as we are seeing 'fake' refrigerants and other major issues coming out of China," Ellingson says. The lab will be based at the Shanghai Aohong Chemical Company.


"In order to provide the focus needed to make the RemTec/Aohong quality control program a success, we have asked Patti Ellingson to take the lead on the implementation and development of this program," says Ron Marcus, Rem Tec business development manager.


"We will continue to work toward structuring the sales transactions between Aohong and our high volume key customer groups. Patti will work to facilitate these transactions between the parties," Marcus says.


Ellingson reports the China lab is a mirror image of Rem Tec's U.S. lab facility, and are testing and operating under the same AHRI protocols as Rem Tec's AHRI-700 certified lab at its Bowling Green, OH facility.


The Rem Tec program offers strict Quality Controls throughout the entire process to ensure the product prior to shipping.


For additional information on the program, contact Patti Ellingson at patti.ellingson@remtec.net or call 419/575-9490


The Rem Tec Quality Assurance Process is described below
Prior to Filling & Packaging

Cylinder/Tanks:

·         Cylinders/tanks are inspected to ensure all are U.S. DOT approved, and meet RemTec’s moisture, particulate and vacuum requirements.
·         All used cylinders are inspected. Maintenance is performed according to customer and regulatory requirements, including valve refurbishment.

Labeling:
Labeling templates are compared to production packaging to ensure it is in compliance with the customer’s and regulatory requirements, including all U.S. Customs regulations.
Packaging is inspected for any damage. Damaged packaging is replaced.



Pre-Fill and Filling Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance Testing:

·         The first disposable refrigerant cylinder that is filled is sampled and immediately tested to assure that it meets AHRI-700 standards, including unsaturates. If there are deficiencies, corrective action is taken and laboratory tests are repeated until all standards are met.
·         Filled cylinders are randomly tested throughout the filling process (no less than one cylinder for every 100 cylinders filled).
·         Bulk shipments of refrigerants and fire protection agents are individually tested in accordance with applicable industry standards.
·         Once filling is completed, a Certification of Compliance is issued for each packaged shipment, or bulk tank.

After Filling:
·         Packaging is again inspected for any damage. Damaged packaging is replaced.

Container Packing:
·         Unless otherwise specified cylinders are shrink wrapped on pallets and packaged in 20’ containers in accordance with international maritime shipping requirements.
Inter Modal approved brace and blocking are used to secure the contents as required.

Shipping documents are inspected and include:
·         Bill of Lading
·         Certificate of Conformance
·         Export Permit
·         Proforma Invoice
·         Country of Origin Certificate
·         MSDS

Customer Service
• RemTec International Bowling Green, Ohio, USA and RemTec’s West Coast Sales Office in Camarillo, California.

Visit www.remtec.net for complete contact information.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Long-awaited SNAP ruling opens US market to hydrocarbon refrigerants

2011-12-13 - hydrocarbons21.com
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday announced that it has approved three hydrocarbon refrigerants as acceptable substitutes in household and small commercial stand-alone refrigerators and freezers.
The three hydrocarbons are:
  • R290 (propane),
  • R600a (isobutene)
  • R441A, a hydrocarbons blend also known as HCR188C
The announcement comes a year and half after the publication of a proposed rule under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme and several years of efforts by end-users such as Unilever, and companies working with hydrocarbons such as A.S. Trust & Holdings, the company that invented refrigerant blend R441A.

“Replacing refrigerants such as CFC-12, HCFC-22, or HFCs will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 600,000 metric tons by 2020, equal to the emissions from the annual electricity use of nearly 75,000 homes, and will help protect people’s health and the environment”, reads the US EPA announcement.

Refrigerant charge limits as outlined in proposed rule
The SNAP final rule setting out the requirements for the use of hydrocarbons, including refrigerant charge size limits will only be issued later this week. The proposed rule (May 2010), provides an indication regarding the potential refrigerant charge size limits, with the US EPA proposing levels that would reflect standards UL 250 and UL 471:
  • Household refrigerators and freezers: 57grams (2.0 ounces), equivalent to approximately the charge size contained in two disposable lighters, and well below the international household refrigerator and freezers standard’s charge size limit of 150 grams (5.3 ounces)
  • Retail food refrigeration in stand-alone units: 150 grams (5.3 ounces), equivalent to approximately the charge size contained in five disposable lighters or less, and in line with the IEC 60335-2-89 standard for commercial appliances, which has a charge size limit of 150 grams (5.3 ounces).
The 57g charge size limit could prove a challenging one to meet, especially considering the large size of typical US refrigerators.

Hydrocarbons in the US: from trials to a wider roll out
Up until now, end users and retailers, including Unilever (Ben & Jerry’s), Nestle, Pepsi, and Fresh & Easy had limited themselves to trials when it comes to the use of hydrocarbons in the US, which they could carry out by receiving exemptions for test-marketing end-use equipment for research and development purposes.

The new SNAP rule will now pave the way for a wider roll-out of hydrocarbons in the US.

Friday, December 2, 2011

AHRI Relaunches 'PhaseOutFacts' Website

Dec 2, 2011 9:58 AM  

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has relaunched the website it uses to keep industry professionals and equipment owners informed on the phase out of ozone depleting refrigerants: PhaseOutFacts.org.

“PhaseOutFacts.org is a one-stop-shop for information and deadlines on the refrigerant phase out, as well as important safety information,” says Stephen Yurek, AHRI President and CEO. “We hope this site serves as a valuable tool for homeowners, business owners, technicians, and manufacturers.”

The website includes detailed information on refrigerants, and the history of the Clean Air Act. The "Contractors and Technicians" section contains updates on sales restrictions and changes in how contractors service and dispose of systems and refrigerants. Information on residential and commercial air conditioning, as well as commercial refrigeration, is listed under the Equipment Owners section.

Visit phaseoutfacts.org to view a checklist to help business owners comply with federal and state laws regulating refrigerant emissions.

Monday, November 28, 2011

DuPont issues statement over reefer incidents

REFRIGERANT manufacturer DuPont has issued a statement to customers following the recent reefer explosions and revelations by ACR News that methyl chloride was one of the constituents in the contaminated refrigerant thought to have been responsible.

The statement from Jane Austin, DuPont Fluorochemicals global business director is as follows

DuPont Statement - Shipping Container Incidents

DuPont recently became aware that during the past year, there have been three explosions involving refrigerated shipping containers, and that two of these incidents resulted in fatalities. DuPont expresses its condolences to the victims' families for the loss of life resulting from these incidents. To our knowledge, the cause of these unfortunate incidents has not yet been determined. DuPont has no information that would indicate that DuPont products were involved in any of these incidents.

One of the primary refrigerants used in refrigerated shipping containers is R-134a, which is manufactured by DuPont and other companies. R-134a is a refrigerant that was introduced in the early 1990s and is used in a range of applications. It has been extensively tested for both performance and compatibility with various materials, and has been demonstrated to be safe for its intended uses in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

R-134a has been the subject of counterfeiting by unscrupulous suppliers who pass off other products for R-134a to unsuspecting users. DuPont has an active program in place to enforce the proper use of its trademark and trade name in this market and to bring counterfeiters to justice. At this point, we do not know the composition of the refrigerant used in the refrigerated shipping containers mentioned above at the time of the explosions.

DuPont is a leader in supplying refrigerants that meet high standards for quality. Freon® and Suva® are registered trademarks owned by DuPont, and are among the trademarks used by the company to market its branded refrigerant products. Neither the Suva® nor Freon® trademarks should be used in reference to refrigerants or blends that are not made by DuPont.

Honeywell steps up efforts to fight counterfeits

by CW Staff on Nov 27, 2011



Honeywell, the US based technology manufacturers, announced on Thursday that it had expanded its ongoing campaign against counterfeit refrigerants being sold under its name in the Middle East.


Following a combined effort between UAE’s police, customs, local municipalities and other government officials, the month of August saw the seizure of around 6,000 cylinders of materials branded as ‘Honeywell Genetron 134a’, but was in actuality dangerously toxic and flammable substances.

“We have invested substantial resources to develop and commercialise our refrigerant technology. We are taking the necessary actions to protect that investment and ensure that users get the high-quality product that they need,” said Paul Sanders, managing director for Honeywell Fluorine Products in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.


The manufacturers have also begun implementing new anti-counterfeit technology to allow for the identification of non-authentic products faster and more easily than previously possible.

At the same time, the company plans to step up efforts to build awareness amongst its customers about the risks of using counterfeit products.

“We have created simple posters for garages and services, where we explain in simple terms how dangerous it can be to use non-genuine products,” said Sanders.

Tests have shown that the use of the fake Genetron R-134a can lead to serious health and safety risks as it is made up of flammable and unsafe mixtures that are also harmful to refrigeration equipment.

Honeywell has been involved in pursuing counterfeit products for more than 10 years, with successful seizures in more than 20 countries across six continents.

Over the last two years alone, working in cooperation with local governments, the company has confiscated more than 200,000 fake products.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What We Are Thankful For.....

RemTec International is thankful for our employees going above and beyond this year when it comes to those in need. We are proud to share this letter with you to show our gratitude to our family here at RemTec for being so generous even in this down economy.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rem Tec Opens QA Facility in China

Nov 17, 2011 12:04 PM
Offers Strict Quality Controls throughout the entire process



RemTec International has opened a Quality Assurance Facility in Shanghai, China for refrigerants.

"Our new Quality Assurance Program is designed specifically for refrigerants and fire protection agents packaged in cylinders or bulk tanks," says Patti Ellingson, Rem Tec's director of wholesale distribution.

"This program was initially designed as a solution to the moisture and unsaturated issues coming out of China, but has turned into a solution for the industry, as we are seeing 'fake' refrigerants and other major issues coming out of China," Ellingson says. The lab will be based at the Shanghai Aohong Chemical Company.

"In order to provide the focus needed to make the RemTec/Aohong quality control program a success, we have asked Patti Ellingson to take the lead on the implementation and development of this program," says Ron Marcus, Rem Tec business development manager.

"We will continue to work toward structuring the sales transactions between Aohong and our high volume key customer groups. Patti will work to facilitate these transactions between the parties," Marcus says.

Ellingson reports the China lab is a mirror image of Rem Tec's U.S. lab facility, and are testing and operating under the same AHRI protocols as Rem Tec's AHRI-700 certified lab at its Bowling Green, OH facility.

The Rem Tec program offers strict Quality Controls throughout the entire process to ensure the product prior to shipping.

For additional information on the program, contact Patti Ellingson at patti.ellingson@remtec.net or call 419/575-9490.

The Rem Tec Quality Assurance Process is described below
Prior to Filling & Packaging
Cylinder/Tanks:

  • Cylinders/tanks are inspected to ensure all are U.S. DOT approved, and meet RemTec’s moisture, particulate and vacuum requirements.
  • All used cylinders are inspected. Maintenance is performed according to customer and regulatory requirements, including valve refurbishment.

Labeling:
Labeling templates are compared to production packaging to ensure it is in compliance with the customer’s and regulatory requirements, including all U.S. Customs regulations.
Packaging is inspected for any damage. Damaged packaging is replaced.
Pre-Fill and Filling Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance Testing:
  • The first disposable refrigerant cylinder that is filled is sampled and immediately tested to assure that it meets AHRI-700 standards, including unsaturates. If there are deficiencies, corrective action is taken and laboratory tests are repeated until all standards are met.
  • Filled cylinders are randomly tested throughout the filling process (no less than one cylinder for every 100 cylinders filled).
  • Bulk shipments of refrigerants and fire protection agents are individually tested in accordance with applicable industry standards.
  • Once filling is completed, a Certification of Compliance is issued for each packaged shipment, or bulk tank.

After Filling:
  • Packaging is again inspected for any damage. Damaged packaging is replaced.

Container Packing:
  • Unless otherwise specified cylinders are shrink wrapped on pallets and packaged in 20’ containers in accordance with international maritime shipping requirements.
    Inter Modal approved brace and blocking are used to secure the contents as required.
    Shipping documents are inspected and include:
  • Bill of Lading
  • Certificate of Conformance
  • Export Permit
  • Proforma Invoice
  • Country of Origin Certificate
  • MSDS

Customer Service
• RemTec International Bowling Green, Ohio, USA and RemTec’s West Coast Sales Office in Camarillo, California.
Visit www.remtec.net for complete contact information.

Refrigerant producers publish HFC 'Phase-down' position

16 November 2011 | By Julian Milnes



HFC producers support action under the Montreal Protocol for a consumption cap and reduction of HFCs
The European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC), a sector group of the European Chemical Industry Association (CEFIC), has published its position on the subject of HFC reduction.
In a statement it said: “We are encouraging Parties to the Montreal Protocol to move forward with a constructive dialogue to achieve an agreement for a global cap and reduction for HFC consumption on a GWP-weighted basis.
We recognise the important role played by the Montreal Protocol in successfully controlling consumption of CFCs and HCFCs and acknowledge that this could provide the necessary expertise to effectively implement a similar system for HFCs. We believe that including provisions of controlling the placing on the market of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would complement and strengthen the HFC emissions provisions of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.
It is estimated that the overall global warming impact of HFC emissions worldwide currently represents less than 2 per cent of the total global greenhouse gases emissions. while HFCs are the preferred solution for many societal needs because of their safety and performance advantages, without action the demand for HFCs will grow due to the replacement of HCFCs as well as the increasing demand for refrigeration and air conditioning, especially in developing countries. Such growth would result in HFCs becoming a more significant potential source of emissions in the future.
Encouraging progress is being made by HFC producers to find low GWP alternatives for a range of applications including aerosols, mobile air-conditioning, insulating foams and commercial refrigeration. Already an alternative fluid has been developed for mobile air-conditioning; it has a GWP of about 4 compared to a GWP of 1430 for the HFC currently being used. A clear long-term regulatory framework and time frame are needed for research and development to progress at the necessary speed and for manufacturers of equipment and products to undertake the necessary programs to adopt these and other lower GWP alternatives.
The proposals submitted by North America and Micronesia for a cap and reduction of HFC consumption on a GWP-weighted basis, in our opinion form a good initial framework for a dialogue, recognizing that any final agreement needs to be realistic.
balanced and flexible, and fair, meeting the needs of Parties, and taking into account industrial planning timescales and the capacity of industry to invest in new lower GWP products and applications.
We consider that any final agreement should focus on consumption, which determines use leading to reduced emissions. On this basis, legislative control of production is not necessary as the consumption cap will maintain the required high level of environmental ambition. Furthermore, there should also be a requirement for production reporting from 2015.
We believe that this approach will allow HFCs to be used for their safety and performance where appropriate, encourage innovation for the use of lower GWP alternatives and applications, but without significant disruption to the industries that use HFCs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fake refrigerants becoming a 'serious problem'

Published on 15 - November - 2011 courtesy of ACR News

COMPANIES have been warned to only purchase refrigerants from authorised and reputable suppliers as evidence mounts that highly dangerous fake refrigerants are a far greater problem and more widespread than many realize.

The recent fatal incidents involving refrigerated cargo containers are far from unique and similar incidents have already hit Europe. There have been previous deaths and the problems aren't restricted to R134a systems or to mobile applications.

Leading German independent research company ILK Dresden has been researching incidents with methyl chloride, or R40, since 2009 when it was called in to investigate a case involving mobile air conditioning systems in Greece. Since then the company has been involved in a number of investigations involving R22/R40 cocktails turning up in both stationary and mobile systems.

Ulrich Grimm, head of group new technologies/materials at ILK Dresden, declined to be drawn into specific details for reasons of client confidentiality, but warned: "This is a serious problem".

Although not involved in the current reefer explosion investigations, Ulrich Grimm revealed that his company had been called in to look at four other new cases recently, one particularly serious and on-going. "I am expecting to see an increasing situation over the next month," he said.

All systems can be affected but it is particularly bad and aggressive in systems running with synthetic POE oil. All elastomeric parts, seals and hoses are attacked and there will probably be no chance to save the compressor. "In systems using POE oils, the contaminated refrigerant takes less than a week to destroy everything."
In car air conditioning systems a leak could be particularly dangerous for the vehicle occupants.

Even when used inadvertently to top-up a system, as little as 2% can become a problem.

Being suspicious of unusually cheap refrigerant and only buying from a reputable refrigerant supplier who can provide evidence of its quality is vitally important.


And taking the refrigerant at face value is no guarantee. Ulrich Grimm has seen the fake refrigerant sold in an R134a bottle with "the colours and logo of one of the big refrigerant manufacturers". This is borne out by warnings from DuPont in 2009 to customers in the Middle East over the prevalence of potentially dangerous counterfeits of R22 and R134a bearing DuPont brands and markings.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Now Bock warns of methyl chloride in fake refrigerants

INDICATIONS that methyl chloride is the rogue refrigerant responsible for three deaths and the grounding of hundreds of reefer containers coincides with a recent warning about fake refrigerants by compressor manufacturer GEA Bock.

While investigators looking into the recent reefer incidents have yet to reveal all the constituents of the rogue blend used in the R134a refrigeration systems, they have confirmed the likely involvement of methyl chloride, an extremely flammable toxic compound used in the early days of refrigeration before the advent of CFCs.

Now methyl chloride, or chloromethane (R40), has been named by German compressor manufacturer GEA Bock as a constituent in fake refrigerants responsible for an increasing number of compressor breakdowns.

While it is unknown whether the incidents are linked, GEA Bock has pinpointed bogus refrigerants purporting to be R134a, which they have found to consist mainly of R22, R30, R40 (methyl chloride) and R142b.

R22 and R142b are both restricted under the Montreal Protocol and R30 (dichloromethane, methylene chloride), like R40, is also highly volatile. But it is methyl chloride which seems to be causing most of the damage.

The Bock warning pinpoints methyl chloride's aggressive nature, dissolving the aluminium body of the compressor and producing "highly inflammable gases which are self-igniting and explosive on contact with air". It also attacks plastics and damages compressor hoses, warns Bock. Even the oil doesn't escape the effects: synthetic POE oil is emulsified by the reaction with methyl chloride and splits into its component materials.

GEA Bock also warns of a another refrigerant posing as R134a but found to be a cocktail of R134a, R22 and, sometimes, propane. This bogus gas is said to cause problems in hot countries by confusing the temperature/pressure characteristics and reducing the pressure so that, when at standstill, the correct refrigerant fill amount cannot be specified. Likewise, the apparent suction gas superheat of 7K is not real, but the compressor runs completely liquid. The addition of R22 means the oil is no longer transported back to the compressor. GEA Bock also warns that the addition of propane increases the fire risk.

ACR News - November 7, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

HARDI National Conference


RemTec International and Patti Ellingson personally invite you to stop by our booth (#304) for important information about our Buy Back & Recovery Program during the 2011 HARDI National Conference October 22nd -26th

Let us help you turn your used refrigerants into CA$H!
If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with me one on one prior to the booth please call me at 419-575-9490.
I look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, October 10, 2011

International golfers for Pan Gulf event


OVER 100 golfers from around the world will be taking part in the Pan Gulf Golf Day at Awali Golf Club on October 14.

The event, which is being held in cooperation with Pan Gulf Industrial Systems, will consist of two competitions.

The first, teeing off in the early morning, will be a strokeplay tournament comprising more than 100 entrants. It will also act as a KPAO (Kingsbury, Pinhey, Ayto, O'Sullivan) qualifier, the final of which will be held at Awali Golf Club in April next year.

The other is an invitational Stableford competition. Scheduled to tee off at around midway, around 20 invited golfers from the US, Australia, Bahrain and the rest of the GCC will be in the fray.

Both tournaments will be played over 18 holes along Awali Golf Club's sand course.

Amateurs

The players taking part are all amateurs. They will be vying for attractive cash prizes in each competition, with additional awards for the day's various side competitions also to be given out, such as a Harley Davidson motorbike for the first player to sink a hole-in-one.

"The main aim of our Pan Gulf Golf Day is for everyone to have a good time out on the golf course and to make some money for charity," event organiser Martin Allison told the GDN yesterday.

Part of the event's proceeds will be donated to the Think Pink charity.

Following the day's play, there will be live music featuring the Gruesome Twosome band and a dinner.

The Pan Gulf Golf Day's main sponsors are Remtec and Chemetron; while other sponsors are Notifier, Autronica, Stahl, Nalco, DNH Speakers and ATP.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Phl to start ODS phaseout

By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government will finally start to put an end to the use of harmful substances that deplete the earth’s ozone layer by 2013.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje announced the other day that a freeze order on the importation of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) more than a year from now.

He said the ban on ozone-depleting substances (ODS) is pursuant to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to which the Philippines is a signatory.

“Starting 2013, we are putting a cap on the importation of HCFC to 2,644 metric tons (MT) — the country’s average import of HCFC from 2009 to 2010,” Paje said.

From the base level of 2,644 MT, the HCFC import will be gradually reduced by 10 percent, to 2,3796 MT by 2015; 35 percent to 1,718.6 MT by 2020; then 67.5 percent, to 859.3 MT in 2025.

Paje said that from 2030 to 2039 the DENR would allow the import of the substance to only 66.1 MT annually, representing 2.5 percent of the base level, for the continued use of the servicing sector.

HCFCs are a group of ODS controlled by the Montreal Protocol and comprise the last of eight ODS groups to be phased out pursuant to the Protocol.

The other ODS that have already been phased out in the country include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 11, 12, 113, 114, halon 1301 and 1211, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroforms.
HCFC consumption in the Philippines is attributed to HCFC-22, more commonly known as R-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-123 and blends of HCFC-225.
HCFCs are commonly used as substitutes for CFCs in the foam blowing, refrigeration, fire extinguishing, solvent and servicing sectors.
Of these HCFCs, Paje said the DENR will prioritize the phaseout of HCFC-141b because it has the most ozone-depleting potential (ODP) of 0.11 as compared with HCFC-22 or R-22 with an ODP of .055 only, HCFC-123 with 0.02 and HCFC blends, from .025 to .033.
He said phaseout would initially cover the foam sector, particularly the polyurethane rigid foam in appliances, panels and sprays.
A total of 364.34 MT of HCFCs is projected to be phased out under the project, which is being implemented by the DENR through the Environmental Management Bureau in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
Paje said a total of $2.26 million was granted to fund the project from Japan and the Multilateral Fund.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Legal Loophole Drives Hot Sales of Air Conditioning Units

By Bob Tita
Published September 30, 2011

--Air conditioning companies producing components using banned refrigerant

--Manufacturers use regulatory loophole to resume production

--Components with banned refrigerant popular with consumers

A frosty battle has broken out in the U.S. air-conditioning market, as manufacturers confront consumers' unwillingness to pay up for equipment without an ozone-depleting refrigerant.

A legal loophole has allowed companies to continue to produce air conditioning units with a refrigerant banned in the U.S. last year. The move has driven a wedge through an industry struggling to respond to a weak economy and a moribund housing market that dropped shipments of air conditioning units last year to 36% below volumes from a decade ago. Some executives warn that continuing to provide equipment with the hydrocholoroflorocarbon-22 refrigerant, or R-22, will make it difficult to attract buyers for higher-margin, more energy-efficient systems using a more environmentally friendly refrigerant.

"It's really bad environmental policy," said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer for Carrier Corp. "We ought to be getting back on track with what's been understood for decades, that R-22 should be phased out."

Manufacturers expected sales of their newest models to receive a boost when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year banned the production and sale of residential air conditioning units with R-22. But cash-strapped consumers have been opting to overhaul their existing R-22 systems with new outdoor condensers for $1,500 to $2,000, rather than pay $3,500 for an entirely new system. Manufacturers started to produce older-model condensers again under a provision in the EPA regulation that allows them to supply replacement parts for R-22 systems as long as they're not charged with the refrigerant at the factory. Instead, heating and air conditioning contractors add it when they install the units.

Some analysts estimate that R-22 condensers accounted for as much as 20% of the air conditioning shipments during the second quarter, double the R-22 volume from the first quarter. Companies say the increasing demand for R-22 condensers reflects consumers' need for lower-cost alternatives to a completely new air conditioning system.

"We have a lot of homeowners who can't afford that new system," said Carol Baker, vice president for marketing at Missouri-based Nordyne, one of the first manufacturers to restart production of R-22 condensers.

Ingersoll-Rand PLC (IR), which makes heating and air conditioning equipment under the Trane brand, was one of the last manufacturers to resume production of R-22 condensers. Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Lamach said rivals backed out of a pledge made two years ago to only produce equipment for the new coolant, known as R-410A.

"One by one, they began to ship heavily into the [R-22] market," Lamach said. "We were the last one left standing that wasn't producing R-22. But if a Trane dealer needs an R-22 unit today, he'll be able to get an R-22 unit." While everyone is making R-22 condensers again, some of the largest manufacturers want to close the loophole that's allowed production to resume.

Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (UTX), petitioned the EPA earlier this year to designate R-22 condensers as sub-systems that cannot be replaced as entire units. Ingersoll-Rand, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), the maker of York equipment, and Lennox International Inc. (LII) have endorsed Carrier's petition.

Ingersoll's Lamach worries that consumers are being conditioned to accept half-measure replacements that will destroy the market for the new systems using R-410A that have cost manufacturers hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and market.

But Philip Windham, vice president of sales for Nordyne, whose brands include Frigidaire, Tappan and Westinghouse, disputes the notion that homeowners would buy significantly more systems with R-410A if the R-22 condensers weren't available. Instead, he suspects they'd just resort to even more stop-gap repairs with lower-margins for manufacturers.

"If a homeowner has a choice, they'll choose a full upgrade," he said. "But the average homeowner doesn't have enough money in the bank to afford it now and can't get financing like a few years ago."

A spokeswoman for the EPA said Thursday the agency continues to evaluate Carrier's request to reclassify R-22 condensers. Industry analysts expect the agency to eventually deny the petition to avoid being seen as increasing the regulatory burden on consumers during tough economic times. The attraction of the R-22 condensers is likely to weaken in the coming years as the refrigerant becomes increasingly scarce. The price of R-22 has ballooned to more than $300 for 30 pounds from $40 a couple of years ago, said Barry Logan, vice president for investor relations at Watsco Inc. (WSO), a Florida-based distributor for Carrier, Trane, Nordyne and other brands of heating and air conditioning equipment.

"Over the new few years, the loophole is going to go away because there wouldn't be enough R-22 to service these systems beyond 2015 and certainly by 2020," he said.


Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/09/30/legal-loophole-drives-hot-sales-air-conditioning-units/#ixzz1Zj3IvH8P

Arctic ozone loss at record level


Ozone loss over the Arctic this year was so severe that for the first time it could be called an "ozone hole" like the Antarctic one, scientists report.
About 20km (13 miles) above the ground, 80% of the ozone was lost, they say.
The cause was an unusually long spell of cold weather at altitude. In cold conditions, the chlorine chemicals that destroy ozone are at their most active.
It is currently impossible to predict if such losses will occur again, the team writes in the journalNature.
Early data on the scale of Arctic ozone destruction were released in April, but the Nature paper is the first that has fully analysed the data.
"Winter in the Arctic stratosphere is highly variable - some are warm, some are cold," said Michelle Santee from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
"But over the last few decades, the winters that are cold have been getting colder.

Start Quote

Why [all this] occurred will take years of detailed study”
Michelle SanteeJPL
"So given that trend and the high variability, we'd anticipate that we'll have other cold ones, and if that happens while chlorine levels are high, we'd anticipate that we'd have severe ozone loss."
Ozone-destroying chemicals originate in substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that came into use late last century in appliances including refrigerators and fire extinguishers.
Their destructive effects were first documented in the Antarctic, which now sees severe ozone depletion in each of its winters.
Their use was progressively restricted and then eliminated by the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its successors.
The ozone layer blocks ultraviolet-B rays from the Sun, which can cause skin cancer and other medical conditions.
Longer, not colder
Winter temperatures in the Arctic stratosphere do not generally fall as low as at the southern end of the world.
Polar stratospheric cloudsOzone destruction takes place within polar stratospheric clouds, with chlorine the main culprit
No records for low temperature were set this year, but the air remained at its coldest for an unusually long period of time, and covered an unusually large area.
In addition, the polar vortex was stronger than usual. Here, winds circulate around the edge of the Arctic region, somewhat isolating it from the main world weather systems.
"Why [all this] occurred will take years of detailed study," said Dr Santee.
"It was continuously cold from December through April, and that has never happened before in the Arctic in the instrumental record."
The size and position of the ozone hole changed over time, as the vortex moved northwards or southwards over different regions.
Some monitoring stations in northern Europe and Russia recorded enhanced levels of ultraviolet-B penetration, though it is not clear that this posed any risk to human health.
While the Arctic was setting records, the Antarctic ozone hole is relatively stable from year to year.
This year has seen ozone-depleting conditions extending a little later into the southern hemisphere spring than usual - again, as a result of unusual weather conditions.
Chlorine compounds persist for decades in the upper atmosphere, meaning that it will probably be mid-century before the ozone layer is restored to its pre-industrial health.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Climate Crisis - The 21 Gigatonne Time Bomb (Nature Inc)

THE 21 GIGATONNE TIMEBOMB: Broadcast in May 2011 on BBC World News to 300 million homes this programme explores the much-neglected issue of what to do about the super-greenhouse gases?

Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, CFCs and other so-called ozone-depleting chemicals are outlawed, but their Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) replacements – while harmless to the ozone layer – are powerful greenhouse agents.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fully one fifth of the greenhouse effect by midcentury will be ascribed to these ozone-friendly but "super greenhouse gases" used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

There are alternatives – principally hydrocarbons - commercially available now (but also ammonia, carbon dioxide and water), but in some countries, they are considered a fire hazard, and are restricted. Many countries allow their usage provided safety standards are followed.

Meanwhile companies such as Dupont are developing a new generation of refrigerants, such as R-1234yf, that they claim have an minimal impact on climate change and are only "mildly flammable" (overlooking extremely toxic combustion byproducts including the lethal hydrogen fluoride).

But they are not yet commercially available, and will be far more expensive than hydrocarbons and high GWP HFCs when they come to market. Different countries have different stances on how to deal with HFC issue. This documentary examines this interesting story from different perspectives.      

http://vimeo.com/23345397