In a paper published in ACR News April 2016, addressing the signification of chemical or natural refrigerants, a British Professor concludes that the term ‘natural’ applied to refrigerants is an ideological obfuscation. To meet the considerable danger of anthropological global warming, we consider that all refrigerant options, both so-called ‘ natural ‘ fluid and ‘ synthetic’ HFOs , are needed to facilitate the transition to a ‘low carbon’ technology as quickly and as safely as possible.
The author states that the distinction between ‘chemical’ refrigerants and ‘ natural ‘ refrigerants is technically meaningless in chemical terms, since ammonia and carbon dioxide are manufactured from methane in large chemical plants, so they are just as much ‘synthetic chemicals’ as fluorocarbons.
It stresses also that natural’ also implies to the general public that products are intrinsically safe, but this is manifestly not the case of ammonia and hydrocarbons, with regular reports in the press of accidents. On the other hand, fluorocarbons present a very low hazard and even the marginal flammability HFO-1234yf is at low risk in this sense.
Source: ACR News