A refrigerant is a part of a heat cycle that helps to exchange heat starting from one area and expel the heat energy onto the next. Refrigerant exists as a gas at room temperature. It is found mostly in the equipment’s and the main purpose of refrigerant is to perform cooling.

They are also found in those devices that are used for heating, most usually AC systems, freezers, coolers, and vehicle ventilation systems.

A refrigerant experiences stage changes from a fluid to gas (on absorbing warmth) and back to fluid (when a compressor packs it). The choice of perfect refrigerant is made in view of its ideal thermodynamic properties, non-destructive nature, and security (non-harmful and non-combustible).

Albeit numerous liquids can be utilized as a refrigerant, however in the twentieth century, CFCs turned into the most prevalent refrigerants.

In the previous years, fluorocarbons also known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), were utilized as refrigerants, however, they are being eliminated these days because of their harmful effect on the ozone layer.

Other basic refrigerants utilized for a slew of applications are smelling salts, sulfur dioxide, and non-halogenated hydrocarbons, for example, propane. A small portion of refrigerant that is left in the cooling devices is mostly released into the air causing ozone depletion and ultimately global warming.

The demand and interest for cooling devices are on the rise because of the requirements of industries, especially in developing nations. AC’s and similar cooling devices are expected to gain more popularity with time thus resulting in higher usage of refrigerant.

However, developing nations are utilizing HCFCs, for example, HCFC-22, a substance that is destructive to the ozone layer even though the utilization of HCFCs in developing nations was stopped in 2013, and the manufacturing of these refrigerants in developing nations is strictly prohibited under government norms.

Classification types


  • The most widely recognized refrigerant in the mid-1980s was a CFC, most usually called as Freon. Freon was the brand name for a refrigerant R-12. CFCs are a group of chemicals that contain carbon, fluorine and chlorine. The chlorine content in these mixes causes the depletion of the ozone layer.

  • In the 2000s, the CFCs were supplanted with hydrochlorofluorocarbon commonly known as HCFCs. The most widely recognized HCFC is R-22. 50-60% of Air Conditioners still utilize HCFCs. Be that as it may, HCFCs are just slightly superior to CFCs as they simply contain chlorine and not fluorine and carbon, which is unsafe for the earth.

  • This revelation provoked the marking of Montreal Protocol of 1987, an understanding marked by 180 countries with an objective to eliminate the generation of CFCs by 1995 and HCFCs by 2030.

  • To expel chlorine from the refrigerant, producers made another arrangement of refrigerants called Hydro Fluro Carbons otherwise called HFCs. Even though they additionally have the potential for a global weather change, they are superior compared to HCFCs as they don’t damage the ozone layer.

  • The most widely recognized HFC used as a part of cooling systems is R-410A. This refrigerant is superior to R-22 as far as Ozone Depletion potential and energy proficiency is concerned. However, this refrigerant can result in atmospheric global warming.

  • A couple of more HFCs that are usually utilized for cooling purposes are R-32 in Air Conditioners and R-134A in fridges. Around 20-30% of the cooling systems still utilize HFCs. R-32 is superior to R-410A.

  • The most environment- friendly refrigerants that are accessible in the market as of now are R-600A and R-290. They are HC or Hydrocarbons, and their synthetic names are Iso-Butane for R-600A and Propane for R-290. They are totally halogen-free, have no ozone exhaustion potential and are minimal in terms of global warming effects. They likewise have high-energy proficiency, however, are exceedingly combustible as they are hydrocarbons.

  • In any case, they are the greenest refrigerants in the market. Manufactures utilizing HC as the refrigerant guarantee that extra care has been taken and the devices are safe to use. In this way, we can serenely trust that they are safe.

In short, the 4 normally utilized refrigerants that you can discover today are:

  • CFCs
  • HCFCs
  • HFCs
  • HCs
  • Natural

Types of refrigerants and its properties

1. CFCs


CFCs are better known as chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, for example, R114, and R11, and so on. CFCs were distinguished as unsafe to the Ozone layer. Hence, they were eliminated in 2000.

Nevertheless, they are yet being utilized as a part of the outmoded equipment, and precautionary measures are adopted to minimize discharge as per the EPA directions. They are mostly used in the big centrifugal coolers. R12 refrigerant was additionally utilized in older autos for aerating and cooling the system.

  • Refrigerant R-11 is a safe refrigerant as it is fire-resistant and stable. It is utilized as a part of the applications like cooling of small structures, factories, departmental stores, theatres and so forth.

  • R-11 can be utilized as a part of the applications where the refrigeration stack ranges from 150 to 2000 tons alongside the diffusive compressor. R-11 refrigerant is additionally utilized as the dissolvable and the optional refrigerant.

  • Among each of the refrigerants normally utilized for the refrigeration and ventilating applications, R11 has the highest potential to bring about the depletion of the ozone layer from the upper layers of the air and the greenhouse impact.

  • R-12 is a very adaptable refrigerant that is utilized for an extensive variety of refrigeration and cooling applications however in numerous ventilating applications it is presently supplanted by an R22 refrigerant.

  • Refrigerant R12 is utilized as a part of household fridges and coolers, fluid chillers, dehumidifiers, ice producers, water coolers, drinking fountains and transport refrigeration. The extensive variety of utilization of the refrigerant is because of its safe properties.

  • R-12 is nontoxic, fireproof, and stable. This makes it very famous for the household and in the business applications as well.

  • R-500 refrigerants are used in multiple systems that are used in hospitals and laboratory. Although it is banned in various countries it is still available in a specialized form in nations like the US.

2. HCFCs


HCFCs stand for Hydro Chloro Fluoro Carbon refrigerant, for example, R22, R123 and so forth. These refrigerants were recognized as somewhat unsafe to the Ozone layer and will be eliminated by 2030.

This ventilation system refrigerant is considered somewhat halogenated, as they comprise of methane or ethane in a blend with chlorine and fluorine. They have a shorter life expectancy.

  • R22 refrigerant is a standout amongst the most generally utilized refrigerants for the cooling frameworks. A standout amongst the most well-known employments of R22 is in the local cooling systems like window air conditioner, split air conditioner, central air conditioner and in the number of packaged frameworks.

  • R22 is non-harmful