Industrial, Refrigeration, Ammonia, R-32, Hazard
Ammonia is recognised to be the most commonly used refrigerant in industrial systems however it is limited in some applications by its toxicity. Â R-32 has similar flammability characteristics and a similar pressure-temperature relationship, and through its use as a blend component it has become widely used and readily available. Â This paper compares and contrasts ammonia and R-32 with specific reference to industrial applications. Â The analysis includes comparison of refrigerating effect, heat transfer performance and equipment size and looks at a variety of applications from low temperature freezers to high temperature heat pumps. Â Commercial factors such as price and availability are also considered. Â Opportunities for the adoption of new processes and materials, currently not feasible with ammonia are explored and the possible future trends in the industrial market are identified and evaluated. A hazard analysis for an industrial installation is described, showing the similarities to the type of analysis required for ammonia systems and identifying where the R-32 hazard analysis is different. The paper concludes with an assessment of the benefits that would be gained by the use of R-32 instead of ammonia, the constraints that would be required to make this happen and the likely probability of widespread adoption of R-32 in the industrial market.