Reader Feedback

Clearing up the controversy over CO2 use as refrigerant Boy-oh-boy am I confused. In the July issue of PLANT ENGINEERING on Page 16 you have a article concerning CO2 and its use as a refrigerant. I quote: “Because of its good environmental properties and relative safety, there is renewed interest in carbon dioxide as a refrigerant … But it is now coming back as a natural refrigerant...


Clearing up the controversy over CO2 use as refrigerant

Boy-oh-boy am I confused. In the July issue of PLANT ENGINEERING on Page 16 you have a article concerning CO 2 and its use as a refrigerant. I quote:

“Because of its good environmental properties and relative safety, there is renewed interest in carbon dioxide as a refrigerant… But it is now coming back as a natural refrigerant with no ozone depletion potential and very low global warming potential.”

Well I just saw the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and it certainly implies that CO 2 does not have good environmental properties and has a very high potential for global warming.

So, can someone unconfuse me?

Albert Peterson

Broward County, FL

Response from ASHRAE:

The first step in answering this confusion is to clarify the Global Warming Potential (GWP) from refrigeration of any kind.

The major source of GWP emissions are from the CO 2 generated by power plants that produce the electricity that powers the refrigeration systems.

The next consideration deals with the refrigerants themselves, hydrofluorocarbons have about 1,400 times more GWP than the same quantity of CO 2 making CO2 seem relatively harmless by comparison.

CO 2 refrigeration manages to be an excellent choice for the future because the amount of CO 2 released from the various applications is miniscule compared to that released by power plants, and the high Coefficient of Performance (COP) of CO 2 ensures that less power will be needed thereby reducing the amount of CO 2 emissions. The same holds true for other natural refrigerants such as ammonia, propane and water.

While I have not viewed “An Inconvenient Truth”, it is my understanding that the documentary deals with global warming - causes and concerns for the future. Global warming gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, CFC’s and other trace gases.

The engineering community and government regulations continue to strive to reduce both GWP gases and Ozone Depleting Gases, but we must also realize that the health of the global community needs refrigeration to maintain the cold chain to ensure the freshness of food and vaccines.

Ron Vallort

ASHRAE Presidential Member

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me