Evonik, a speciality chemicals company, has introduced three new natural refrigerants throughout Europe.

In a statement the company said this has been made possible primarily by adapting production processes in a bid to find new applications.

The most recent result of these adaptations are three hydrocarbon-based gases: n-butane (Drivosol R600), isobutane (Drivosol R600a), and propane (Drivosol R290).

These three products, all of which occur naturally, can be used as environmentally friendly and energy-efficient refrigerants in various appliances. This gives manufacturers of refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and heat pumps a new alternative to existing products.

Over the last few years, the use of high-quality hydrocarbons has proven its worth due to their good compatibility and miscibility with the most common cooling lubricants. 

"We have many years of experience in the production of odorless liquefied gas mixtures, which we offer under the brand name Drivosol," according to Sarah Kranz, marketing manager at Evonik Performance Intermediates. 

"The most important characteristic is its high purity, which has so far been used primarily in aerosols for deodorants or shaving foam. We have now used our experience, particularly in reprocessing technology, to identify and exploit new applications.

“Thanks to technical advances, refrigerants can now be used safely, efficiently and, above all, cost-effectively. This opens up new areas of application for refrigeration systems in both the private and commercial sectors, offering high growth opportunities.

"Clearly, we want to be part of that growth.”

Propane (Drivosol R290) has high energy efficiency and excellent thermodynamic and refrigeration properties. As an efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant substitute, propane is particularly suitable for use in air conditioning systems that are also operated at high outside temperatures (>+50degC).

The natural refrigerants Drivosol R600 (n-butane) and Drivosol R600a (isobutane) are characterised above all by better operating performance with lower refrigerant charge when compared to conventional refrigerants.

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