Industrial refrigeration covers a widely range of applications such as industrial and chemical processing, but the sectors critical to the cold chain are food processing, freezing, and cold storage (frozen and chilled). While ammonia is widely used for industrial refrigeration due to it efficiency it has limitations due to its toxicity and material compatibility requirements, the HFCs R-134a and R-404A have been widely used in some applications particularly for medium temperatures.
For new systems, non-flammable lower GWP HFC/HFO blends, are being used and, depending on the safety requirements, A2L refrigerants can be used, including lower GWP HFOs and HFC/HFO blends. The requirement in some applications, such as food process applications, for non-flammable lower GWP refrigerants, has resulted in the selection of HFC/HFO blend refrigerants such as R-448A (GWP 1387) or R-449A (GWP 1397), where R-404A might previously have been used, or R-513A (GWP 631). The HFOs, R-1234yf or R- 1234ze(E) having GWPs <1 provide similar energy efficiency to R-134a, while A2L HFC/HFO blends having GWPs less than 150 (R-455A, GWP 148; R-454C, GWP 148) provide improved energy efficiency compared to R-404A.
For existing systems using R-134a, lower GWP non-flammable alternatives can be used and include R-450A (GWP 605) and R-513A (GWP 631). For R-404A replacement the options include R-407A, R-407F, R-407H, R-448A, R-449A, and R-452A having GWPs in the range 1387 to 2140.