Different Types Of Refrigerant: Choose The Best From R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290

Every year during our AC servicing or refrigerator servicing, we change the gas. Right? What is that gas? What actually that gas does? That gas is called refrigerant and it is responsible for the cooling effect that an AC of Refrigerator offers.

In this article, You will find information about what is refrigerant and different Types Of Refrigerant. Here we have also provided you a comparison of R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290 and R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a.

You’re Reading: Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparison.

What is Refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a substance that is used to absorb the heat from the room ( In the case of an air conditioner) or the refrigerator compartment and transfers it to the atmosphere.

All refrigerants, in its ideal form, is liquid, It circulates through various parts in an AC or a refrigerator. During the circulation process, it changes its state from liquid to gas and then comes back to a liquid state.

Different Types Of Refrigerant: Choose Best From R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290

Often I get the question, How refrigeration cools the food or our room. Well, to explain that, just put a drop of alcohol on your skin and allow it to evaporate, you may feel the chilling sensation. Right? The same principle is valid for a refrigerant also.

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Working Principle Of Refrigerant

When the refrigerant enters the evaporator, the pressure gets reduced due to the capillary effect and it changes its state from liquid to gas, it absorbs the heat from the refrigerator.

The low-pressure refrigerant then enters the compressor, where the pressure and temperature get increased. The high pressure and high-temperature refrigerant then enter the condenser.

Different Types Of Refrigerant: Choose Best From R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290
Credit : SWTC

The condenser consists of a series of pipes through which the hot refrigerant flows. Usually, a fan is installed next to the condenser tube for forced cooling. Since the outside temperature is less than the refrigerant temperature, so the refrigerant transfer the heat to the atmosphere.

The cold and high-pressure liquid then again goes to the evaporator where it loses the pressure. The cycles then continue.

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History Of Refrigerant

A mixture of ice and salt was first used as a refrigerant. After this, a scientist named Perkins used ether as a refrigerant in 1834. After this, ethyl chloride and ammonia in 1875 AD, methyl chloride in 1878 AD, and carbon dioxide in 1881 AD started being used. Currently, Refrigerants such as a chlorofluorocarbon, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, and ammonia are being used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

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Different Types Of Refrigerants

Over the years these are some of the commonly used different types of refrigerants utilized in Air conditioners and refrigerators. Each refrigerant plays an individual factor in ozone depletion towards global warming. Let’s know about it in brief.

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1. CFCs or Chlorofluorocarbons

Chlorofluorocarbons are one of the main reasons for the depletion of the ozone layer and the greenhouse gas effect. R12 was the foremost common CFC referred to as Feron.

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2. HCFCs or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

R22 is the most common HCFC used in 50-60% of air conditioners in India as of now. HCFCs are a bit better than CFCs because it does not contain anything that can severely affect the environment.

But that does not mean that HCFC are very good for environment. It has less effect that CFC. Most of the countries already phased out HCFC from refrigerators and Indian government is planning to phase out by 2030. Be careful when you buy a refrigerator or AC with R22 as refrigerant. Those can only be used untill 2030

You’re Reading : Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparision.

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3. HFCs or Hydrofluorocarbons

The HFCs or Hydrofluorocarbons are used by the manufacturers to remove the chlorine from the refrigerant. The HFCs or Hydrofluorocarbons refrigerants are better than the HCFCs as it does not contain chlorine and does not deplete the ozone layer though they have also the potential for global warming.

R-32 and R-410A are the foremost common HFCs utilized in the air conditioners in India whereas R-134A is used in refrigerators

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4. HC or Hydrocarbons

HC or Hydrocarbon refrigerants are one of the most eco-friendly refrigerants and completely free from halogen which is used in Air conditioners in the Indian market nowadays. R-290 and R600A are the two common hydrocarbons.

In India we are still using R290 but so we may shift to R600A. Please make a note that when we change the refrigerant, we may need to change the design of complete refrigerant circulation system

One of the issue with hydrocarbon is that those are highly flammable. So extra precuations are required when these refrigerants are used in refregerators.

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R22 vs R290

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Refrigerant R22

R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) that is used in most air conditioners. Through these refrigerants are better than CFC but still, it can damage the ozone layer. That is why Indian government has decided to phase out R22 by 2030.

R22 is widely utilized in air conditioners, heat pumps, dehumidifiers, refrigerating dryers, cold storage, food refrigeration equipment, marine refrigeration equipment, industrial refrigeration, commercial refrigeration, refrigeration units, supermarket display, and display cabinets, etc.

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Refrigerant R290

R290 is a new environment friendly refrigerant. Mainly used for central air conditioning, heat pump air conditioning, household air conditioning, and other small refrigeration equipment.

R290 has zero effect on the ozone layer. Most of the premium air conditioners are coming with R290 nowadays.

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R32 Vs R410

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Refrigerant R32

R32 primarily replaces R22, which is a gas at room temperature and a colorless transparent liquid at its pressure. It is easy to dissolve in oil and water. Although it has zero ozone depletion capacity, it has high global warming potential, which is 550 times higher than carbon dioxide every 100 years.

pic r 32 what
Credit: Daikin

The global warming coefficient of R32 Soft is 1/3 of that of R410A, which is more environmentally friendly than R410A and R22 Soft, but about 3% of R32 to R410A refrigerant

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Refrigerant R410

The working pressure of R410A is about 1.6 times that of normal R22 air conditioners, and therefore the refrigeration (heating) efficiency is high. R410A Soft contains two quasi azeotropic mixtures, R32 and R125, each containing mainly hydrogen, fluorine. Contain and carbon.R410A is recognized internationally as the most suitable refrigerant for replacing the current R22 and has been popularized in Europe, America, Japan, and other countries

The R410A is primarily used to replace the R22 and R502. It is clean, has low toxicity, non-water, and good refrigeration effect characteristics, and is widely used in household air conditioners, small commercial air conditioners, and domestic central air conditioners.

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Other Different Types Of Refrigerants

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Refrigerant R600A

The R600a is a new hydrocarbon refrigerant with excellent performance. It is derived from natural ingredients, which does not harm the ozone layer, has no greenhouse effect, and is green and environment-friendly.

It has a high latent heat of evaporation and a strong cooling capacity. Good flow performance, low transmission Pressure, low power consumption, slow recovery of load temperature. Compatible with various compressor lubricants, it is an alternative to R12.R600a is a flammable gas.

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 Refrigerant R404A

 R404A is especially used to replace R22 and R502. It is characterized by cleanliness, low toxicity, non-water, and a good refrigeration effect. R404A refrigerant does not have any severe effect on the ozone layer

The R404A is made up of HFC125, HFC-134a, and HFC-143. It is a colorless gas at room temperature and a colorless transparent liquid at its pressure. Suitable for new commercial refrigeration equipment, transport refrigeration equipment, and refrigeration equipment at medium and low temperatures.

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Refrigerant R407C

Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparision.
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

The refrigerant R407C is a mixture of hydrofluorocarbons. The R407C is primarily used to replace the R22. It is clean, low toxicity, non-combustible, and has signs of good refrigeration effect. Under the condition of air conditioning, its unit volume cooling capacity and refrigeration coefficient are less than 5% of R22. At lower temperatures, its cooling coefficient does not change much, but its cooling capacity per unit volume is 20% is less.

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Refrigerant R717 ( Ammonia)

R717 ( Ammonia) is a refrigerant grade ammonia used in low to medium temperature refrigeration. It is colorless and highly toxic. But it is a very efficient refrigerant with zero global warming potential

It is easy to obtain, low price, medium pressure, large unit cooling, high exothermic coefficient, almost insoluble in oil, small flow resistance. But the odor is irritating and toxic, can burn and explode.

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Comparison Of Refrigerants

RefrigerantOzone Depletion Potential (ODP)Global Warming Potential (GWP)
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Desirable Properties of a Good Refrigerant:

A refrigerant substance is considered to be a good refrigerant only if it has the following properties:

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1. Low Boiling Point

The boiling point of a good refrigerant should be lower than that temperature at normal pressure as the temperature desired for cold storage, brains tank, or another cold place. That is, where the refrigerant evaporates. The pressure in the coils of the refrigerant should be higher than the pressure in the air so that the leakage of the refrigerant from the coils can be easily checked.

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2. Latent Heat of Vaporization

The latent heat (the amount of heat required to change from liquid to gas at the same temperature) for the evaporator of the liquid refrigerant must be high. Fluids with more latent heat per kg leave a relatively greater refrigeration effect by exploiting more heat than liquid with less latent heat.

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3. Low Specific Volume

The relative volume of refrigerant gas should be less so that more gas can be filled in the Compressor at a time. The size of the refrigeration machine is determined based on the latent heat and relative volume of the refrigerant.

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4. Liquefy at Lower Pressure

A good refrigerant is one that turns into a liquid at low pressure only by cooling it with water or air. This property is found in ammonia (NH3).

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5. Inactive to Lubricating Oils

The refrigerator should not react with lubricating oils and easily break apart. This type of refrigerant material is considered to be of the best class, this property is found in ammonia.

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6. Low Toxicity

The refrigerant should not be poisonous. If it is poisonous, leakage of refrigerant material from the system should be easily detectable so that any damage can be avoided by quickly closing the leak.

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7. Corrosiveness of metal

Refrigerant metals should not be smelted, that is, do not react to erosion with metals. If the refrigerant performs erosion on the ducts used, they will burn or strangulate or pierce them, consequently, they will have to be replaced quickly. Therefore, the cost of running the plant will increase.

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8. Refrigerant should be Non-Inflammable and Non-Explosive

The refrigerant to be used should not be fire-catching as well as explosive so that it will be safe to use. There is a greater possibility of damage if the refrigerant is flammable and explosive.

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9. Low Viscosity

The less gluten of the refrigerant makes it easier to flow through the ducts, meaning that the viscosity is less likely that the refrigerant can easily move into the tubes.

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10. Low in Cost

The refrigerant should be easily available and low cost.

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Causes of Depletion of the ozone layer

The depletion of the ozone layer is a major concern and is associated with many factors. The main reasons responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer are listed below:

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Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs are the main cause of the depletion of the ozone layer. These are issued by soaps, solvents, spray aerosols, refrigerators, air-conditioners, etc.

Molecules of chlorofluorocarbons in the stratosphere are broken by ultraviolet radiation and release chlorine atoms. These atoms react with ozone and destroy it.

You’re Reading : Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparision.

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Irregular Rocket Launch

Research says that the erratic launch of rockets causes a much greater depletion of the ozone layer than CFC. If this is not controlled, by the year 2050, the ozone layer may suffer a huge loss.

Changes size ozone hole October 1990
Credit : Britannica
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Nitrogenous compounds

Nitrogenous compounds such as NO2, NO, N2O are highly responsible for the degradation of the ozone layer.

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Natural reason

The ozone layer is inferior to some natural processes such as solar spots and stratospheric winds. But this causes the ozone layer to decrease by more than 1-2%.

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Ozone Depletion Substance

Ozone-depleting substances are substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, hydrofluorocarbons, etc. which are responsible for the decay of the ozone layer.

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Attempts to solve the ozone problem

The World is worried about the ozone problem. We can also help to prevent further damage in this protective shield provided by nature.

Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparision.
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
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Low pesticide use

Natural methods should be applied to diagnose pests and weeds rather than using chemicals. One can use environment-friendly chemicals to remove pests or remove weeds manually.

You’re Reading: Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparison.

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Low vehicle usage

Vehicles emit large amounts of greenhouse gases that cause global warming as well as ozone depletion. Therefore, vehicles should be used as little as possible.

You’re Reading : Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparision.

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Use environmentally friendly products

Most cleaning products contain chlorine and bromine releasing chemicals that find their way into the atmosphere and affect the ozone layer. These should be replaced with natural products to protect the environment.

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Prohibited Use of Nitrous Oxide

The government should take action and ban the use of harmful nitrous oxide which is adversely affecting the ozone layer.

You’re Reading : Different Types Of Refrigerant with R32 vs R410, R410A vs R32, R22 Vs R290A, R32 refrigerant vs R410a Comparision.

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Final Words: Different Types Of Refrigerants

If you’re someone who cares about energy efficiency and the environment, choose an air conditioner with R-290 or a Refrigerator with R-600A. The more you decide for it, the more the manufacturers will start using them in their appliances. 

If you have any kind of question-related to different Types Of Refrigerant, then please comment below and ask. If you want to read similar and informative blogs more, then you can follow us.

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A 2004 batch Mechanical Engineering graduate From NIT, Agartala. Close to 16 years of experience in the field of consumer electronics and appliances domain as a Sr. Design Engineer and Team Leader in India and the United States. A gadget freak by passion and profession and in his free time love to go for a ride with his champ, Rian.

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