Chemical company Chemours has released a video titled Hydrocarbons: The Burning Truth, which looks at differences in flammability between A2L and A3 refrigerants.
The video features Dr Scott Davis, CEO of Gexcon US, who explains the parameters impacting refrigerant flammability. These include how much of a gas is required for an ignition event to occur (lower flammability limits), what kind of spark could cause ignition (minimum ignition energy), as well as the severity of any ignition event (burning velocity and combustion energy).
Davis says that A2L gases – such as the range of hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants manufactured by Chemours – are less likely to form flammable concentrations, are harder to ignite, and are less reactive and have lower combustion energy than A3 refrigerants such as hydrocarbons.
The analysis is limited to flammability, and does not delve into other aspects of the refrigerants, such as their performance as working fluids in refrigeration systems. Nor does it consider such qualities as the toxicity of pure HFOs breaking down in the environment and producing trifluoroacetic acid or TFA.
The video comes at a time of growing calls for a move to hydrocarbons in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, particularly in Europe.
To watch the video (registration required), click here.