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 or call 419/575-9490.

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

  • 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 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 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