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A key role for refrigerant recovery in the year ahead

22 February 2021

John McEvoy explains the benefits of reclaiming refrigerant gases. 

On 1st January 2021 a cut in the F-Gas Regulations’ quota of 29% for virgin HFC refrigerants came into effect. This means that making the most of reclaimed refrigerants has become even more e important.

Refrigerant recovery has the potential to be the star performer in food processing as we look at ways to meet the challenges offered by the F-Gas step downs. Reclaimed refrigerant is quota-free and refrigerants saved from disposal and returned to use as reclaimed gas can make a direct contribution to making up the shortfall created by the phase downs.

This latest reduction in the F-Gas quota will, without doubt, lead to another significant reduction in the supply of high Global Warming Potential (GWP) HFC refrigerants. By using reclaimed refrigerant there is no need to import new virgin material to meet supply. A further advantage is gained as this will offer a saving on raw material usage, energy consumption and unnecessary transport normally associated with virgin production.

A-Gas offers a rapid, F-Gas compliant on-site recovery service which can simplify the task of refrigerant recovery. 

On behalf of contractors Sparks Mechanical Services of Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, A-Gas Rapid Recovery completed a job at a cold store for frozen foods specialists Farmfoods, where a warehouse was being demolished and replaced. Redundant Gram compressor units with rooftop condensers – used to cool the former cold store – were removed and replaced with a more modern system in a new building.

The A-Gas Rapid Recovery team discovered high GWP R422A and R449A and a large quantity of mixed gases were removed from the site and retained for reprocessing. 

An easy job
The use of the mobile rapid recovery unit make this an easy job. The A-Gas Rapid Recovery team arrived on site at 10am on the Monday, stayed overnight and finished the next day leaving at about 2pm. An ammonia and CO2 based system was installed at the new warehouse.  

Refrigerant sent to A-Gas reprocessing centres becomes fully reclaimed product and is returned to the market in line with the AHRI 700 standard. At Portbury, near Bristol and Eygelshoven in the Netherlands, used refrigerant first undergoes chemical analysis. It is then cleaned of contaminants and goes through a separation plant to create a product that matches that of virgin refrigerant requirements. 

The 900 kgs of refrigerant removed by the A-Gas Rapid Recovery operation at Farmfoods enabled Sparks Mechanical Services to focus on other important aspects of the installation, so helped to reduce the time needed to complete the entire job. 

John McEvoy is head of sales and operations at A-Gas Rapid Recovery.

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