Towards a low emissions future

Use of hydrocarbon refrigerants

Refrigerants Australia is technology neutral and fully recognises that a broad range of refrigerants will be used in the future to meet demand. 

This includes natural refrigerants, where there are recognised barriers to their timely, effective and appropriate introduction.  Accordingly, Refrigerants Australia has established a Natural Refrigerants Working Group to assist companies to identify and overcome barriers to the use of natural refrigerants in Australia. 

Topics to be considered include safety regulation, training and licensing.  Other topics will also be considered on an as-needed basis.

Policy on use of hydrocarbon refrigerants as drop-in replacements for stationary and mobile refrigeration and air-conditioning applications

The use of hydrocarbon refrigerants as a drop-in replacement is prohibited in most countries in the world because of safety concerns.

For mobile applications, no mainstream vehicle manufacturer in the world has developed a safe system for the use of hydrocarbon refrigerant in any vehicle and most have long since abandoned any investigation of this type of system because of the risk factor.

Incidents leading to injury and death have been reported in various countries as a result of using hydrocarbon refrigerant in stationary equipment not designed for it.

Refrigerants Australia advises the service industry not to use hydrocarbons in any refrigeration or air conditioning system not specifically designed for it, or where its use is not approved by the equipment manufacturer.

There is currently no approved, or safe, procedure for a mixture of a hydrocarbon refrigerant with other refrigerants to be removed from equipment. This has been the source of some concern because of the potential for unnecessary emissions of potent global warming gases.