Refrigerant use in France: NH3 comes 3rd in new industrial systems; R22 dominates maintenance market

By Alexandra Maratou, Mar 20, 2012, 00:00 2 minute reading

Ammonia (R717) was the third most commonly used refrigerant in new industrial refrigeration installations across France in 2010, behind R404A and R134a, according to a report on refrigerant inventories carried out for the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). Although lower than the year before, demand for HCFC-22 for maintenance of facilities that have not been converted yet, was still estimated at 440t.

Published in December 2011, the ‘Refrigerant emissions inventory in France - year 2010’, the report looks at refrigerant demand, banks, emissions and recovery by sector, from domestic through to industrial applications.

HCFC22 conversions driving refrigerant demand in industrial cooling

The industrial refrigeration sector is divided into three sub-sectors, namely process food refrigeration, ice rinks and other industrial processes.

As expected, the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) ban in new equipment as of 2010 and the upcoming complete HCFC phase out deadline of 2015 is the main driver of the refrigerant inventories in France, with the gradual conversion of HCFC22 installations. 
  • Refrigerant demand for new installations and retrofits: Ammonia constitutes 16% of the refrigerant demand for new installations or retrofits, following R404A (31%) and R134a (27%). The use of CO2 (R744) was estimated at 5t.
  • Refrigerant demand for maintenance: The demand for ammonia refrigerant for maintenance purposes of existing facilities was 217t in 2010. Notably, HCFC-22 was the most highly demanded refrigerant: although it decreased by 16% compared to 2009, R22 demand was still estimated at 440t for 2010, reflecting the top up needs of the many HCFC facilities that are yet to be converted.

Refrigerant banks: R717 dominates – R22 on the decrease

The bank associated with the industrial refrigeration sector is stable, valued at approximately 11,000t in 2010, with the bank corresponding to the food processing sub-sector comprising more than 70% of the total.

Of the total:
  • R717 represented 35% (3,918t) of the refrigerant bank in 2010
  • R22 represented 23% (2,630t) of the refrigerant bank in 2010, down from against 28% in 2009, partly due to conversions of HCFC facilities
  • HFC404A enjoys a similar share of the total bank (2,630t) to R22 and is the dominant refrigerant within the HFC refrigerant type category

Refrigerant emissions: stable for ammonia, R22 still high

Refrigerants emissions from industrial refrigeration systems are estimated at 1,550t in 2010. About a third of the total corresponds to HCFC22 emissions (504t), despite the reduced HCFC22 bank. In terms of CO2 equivalent, R22 contributes about 756kt CO2eq.

On the other hand, ammonia emissions were stable, limited to 220t in 2010, with ammonia systems being less emissive and being characterised by lower leakage rates. Ammonia emissions correspond to 0 CO2eq.

HFC refrigerant type emissions in 2010 were estimated at 820t, corresponding to 1,912kt CO2eq.

More about the report

Published in December 2011, the ‘Refrigerant emissions inventory in France - year 2010’ carried out by L'Ecole des Mines de Paris in cooperation with Energy Research Innovation Engineering (EReIE) looks at refrigerant inventories in 2010 in France for different sub-sectors, and more specifically at:
  • Demand for refrigerants for new equipment and for maintenance
  • Refrigerant "banks" contained in installed base,
  • Refrigerant emissions in tonnes and in CO2 equivalent by type of refrigerant fluid and
  • Refrigerant recovery  


By Alexandra Maratou

Mar 20, 2012, 00:00

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