One of the most potent greenhouse gases is fluorinated gas (F-gas), which is mostly made up of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used in refrigeration and air conditioning, among other industries.
For more than 30 years, the world has been working towards phasing out the production and consumption of these ozone-depleting substances. The European Union has set a goal to cut emissions of HFCs by two-thirds by 2030, which is all part of the objective to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
It is a noble goal and one that will affect multiple industries as they start to replace older refrigeration products with newer versions that use green refrigerant gases.
In the hospitality industry, for example, refrigerated products account for 40 percent of a professional kitchen’s total energy consumption. So, a small change can make a significant difference to your carbon footprint, not just helping a business become greener and do their part for the planet, but also providing savings on energy costs.
Electrolux Professional has been at the leading edge of developing products using eco-friendly refrigerants, working on natural gas alternatives as far back as 2014 when the EU Directive was first announced, and now has a collection of 18 different product families, from fridges and counters to thawing cabinets and chillers, all using green refrigerant gases.
The problem with HFCs and F-gases are that they are highly potent greenhouse gases, which can escape and build up in our atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
So, what exactly are they being replaced with? Electrolux Professional is switching out damaging R134A and R404A HFC refrigerants with natural gas alternatives, such as R290, R600a, and CO2. All are natural and eco-friendly refrigerants that are kind to the environment, reducing the aggressive effect that the previously used HFCs have had on our planet. CO2, in particular, is non-flammable and non-toxic, while also providing the same efficiency for your refrigerator due to the optimised design of the cooling unit.
Here are three ways that next-generation refrigeration products are helping drive sustainability, support environmental goals, and tackle the issue of climate change for customers.
1. A lower carbon footprint
The key benefit of using eco-friendly gas over F-gases is the fact that they have less of an impact on the environment. It is an important and fundamental switch that can have a major impact, helping hospitality companies become greener.
The Electrolux Professional range of eco-conscious products primarily uses CO2, R290 propane and R600a isobutane.
R290 is pure and eco-friendly, and has been named as the preferred green gas refrigeration option by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to its high efficiency and energy savings alongside its environment-friendly impact.
All these natural green gases have among the lowest Global Warning Potential (GWP). R290 and R600a have a GWP of just three and CO2, an even lower rating of one. As a reference, the previously used HFC R134A has a GWP of 1,430.
This is a metric, which looks at the impact of the gas on global warming. It provides you with a number that compares the weight of the gas and the CO2 emissions released from it.
With this in mind, it may be confusing as to why we use CO2 as one of our alternative refrigerants. The reason is that the gases are recycled when used, preventing any refrigerant from being left in the atmosphere.
2. Increased efficiency
Not only do these green refrigerant gases help companies become greener, they are also incredibly effective as a refrigerant, offering improved operational performance. In fact, these new green gases have a cooling effect that is four times greater than HFCs.
Due to the redesign of the cooling circuits in these innovative products, the natural gases used are optimised. This provides users with an overall improved performance while also reducing the energy consumption of the cooling system.
When researching the best eco-friendly gases to use in its refrigeration products, Electrolux Professional also took the opportunity to upgrade the systems so that its refrigerants work as effectively as possible to optimise efficiency.
3. Non-leak and non-toxic
One of the greatest benefits of CO2 is that it’s not flammable, making the refrigerant safer to use than other HFCs.
Both R290 and R600a are natural and eco-friendly. They can lead to fears about flammability, but they are completely safe with the right product development.
To this end, Electrolux Professional has improved its product systems in partnership with third-party expertise. Similarly, the electrical circuits used in the refrigeration systems are designed to avoid any risk of a fire or explosion.
Additionally, Electrolux Professional has significantly reduced possible refrigerant leakages to close to zero and each product is around 95 percent recyclable at end-of-life. This means that even when you are finished using your product, you can rest assured its disposal will not have a negative effect on the environment.
You can use your refrigerants confidently, knowing that the natural, eco-friendly gases used in them are not harmful to you or the planet.
Working towards sustainability and taking care of our planet is a responsibility we all share and companies are increasingly working to improve their carbon footprint.
With products that use eco-friendly refrigerant gases, your business has the option to make a small change that has a significant effect on your environmental impact.
These natural gases come with other benefits too, offering an improvement in efficiency, meaning lower energy bills. They are also non-toxic and the latest products from Electrolux Professional are non-leak, so you can be confident that your refrigerants are sustainable throughout their lifecycle.
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