From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Refrigeration cycle
A can of R407c refrigerant.
A basic diagram of a HVAC system

A refrigerant is a chemical substance that is found in an air conditioner, a refrigerator, and in other refrigeration equipment. Refrigerants are chosen for the ease of converting them from liquid to vapor or vice versa, depending on their temperature and pressure. Most refrigerants in their liquid state will evaporate very fast if at atmospheric pressure. They can be classed as CFC, HCFC, HFC, HC, or HFO along with less common types.

In refrigeration equipment, a refrigerant vapor is compressed by a compressor. Compression makes it hot. It enters a condenser, where it condenses into a liquid. The refrigerant then passes through a part called a metering device, or an expansion device (there are several types of this part) where the pressure is reduced to a point where the liquid begins to boil. At this point, the refrigerant is very cold and it enters an evaporator, where it absorbs heat from the air passing over it. By the time the refrigerant leaves the evaporator, it is all a vapor again, and it goes back to the compressor where the cycle begins again. This is called the refrigeration cycle. This is one example of the use of a refrigerant, in a residential air conditioning system.

Phase out of chlorine-based refrigerants[change | change source]

Older chlorine based refrigerants such as R22 have been phased out due to ozone depletion. The chlorine molecule in them was found to be depleting the ozone molecules in the atmosphere. [1] [2] As a result, the Montreal Protocol has been adopted. The treaty bans the production of CFCs, halons as and other ozone-depleting chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethane.

Types of Refrigerants [3]
Type Meaning Atoms in the Molecule
CFC Chlorofluorocarbon Cl, F, C
CFO Chlorofluoroolefin
HCFC Hydrochlorofluorocarbon H, Cl, F, C
HCFO Hydrochlorofluoroolefin
HFC Hydrofluorocarbon H, F, C
HFO Hydrofluoroolefin
HCC Hydrochlorocarbon H, Cl, C
HCO Hydrochloroolefin
HC Hydrocarbon H, C
HO Hydroolefin (Alkene)
PFC Perfluorocarbon F, C
PFO Perfluoroolefin
PCC Perchlorocarbon Cl, C
PCO Perchloroolefin
H Halon/Haloalkane Br, Cl (in some but not all), F, H (in some but not all), C

References[change | change source]

  1. "Part III. The Science of the Ozone Hole". Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  2. Andino, Jean M. (21 October 1999). "Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are heavier than air, so how do scientists suppose that these chemicals reach the altitude of the ozone layer to adversely affect it?". Sci. Am.
  3. "Refrigerant blends to challenge hydrocarbon efficiencies". 22 December 2019.

Related pages[change | change source]

  • Freon, an old class of refrigerants