Best of 2014 - Most Popular news on

By Silvia Scaldaferri, Dec 18, 2014, 12:43 7 minute reading recaps the most popular news for 2014. Overall, its been a big year for the hydrocarbon market, with legislative changes in the US lifting the venting prohibition for SNAP approved hydrocarbons, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection offering a subsidy for R290 air conditioner production and progress being made on a global HFC agreement at the 26th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol held in Paris.

It has also been a busy year in terms of industry events, with exhibiting companies launching more hydrocarbon optimised products than ever before, including compressor manufacturers such as Dorin, Embraco, Tecumseh, Secop, Frascold, Cubigel and Emerson leading the way in development. Massive end users such as SABMiller have also commited to phasing out HFC fridges by 2020, following the testing of R290 units by Fogel.

Industry News

A first in North America: R1270 chillers successfully installed

In a presentation focused on hydrocarbon technology at ATMOsphere America 2014, Eric MacGregor from Versatile Refrigeration International discussed the first installation in North America of a secondary refrigeration system using propylene (R1270) as the primary refrigerant. Already the system is proving successful, maintaining optimal temperature throughout the year and being praised by building operators for its ease of operation and the little amount of maintenance required.

China set to reduce HFC emissions by 280 million tonnes of CO2 by 2015

At the end of May 2014, the China’s State Council announced a short-term target to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 280 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2015. In addition, a Chinese government official announced that the next five-year plan starting in 2016 will for the first time include controls on COemissions by an absolute cap.

First-ever European market maps: 480,000 hydrocarbon plug-in units today

Responding to the fast adoption of natural refrigerants, the 2nd “GUIDE Europe” features a series of pioneering market maps demonstrating that more than 480,000 hydrocarbon plug-in cabinets are used in European supermarkets today while 285 stores operate indirect HC systems for commercial refrigeration. A minimum of 1.25 HFC-free million bottle coolers, and 800,000 HFC-free ice cream freezers are used in the light-commercial sector.

Global Policy News

Global agreement on HFCs likely to become reality in 2015

Progress was achieved at the 26th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol held on 17-21 November in Paris with close to 200 countries able to agree to hold informal discussions on HFCs in a structured manner. In addition, an agreement was made to hold an extraordinary meeting in April 2015 together with a workshop to discuss the management of HFCs.

US EPA lifts venting prohibition for SNAP approved hydrocarbons

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the regulations regarding the Venting Prohibition for Specific Refrigerant Substitutes, exempting SNAP approved hydrocarbons substitutes. Following an evaluation of comments to a public consultation in 2013, the EPA has decided to lift the venting prohibition for isobutane (R600a), R441A and propane (R290) used as substitutes in domestic and stand-alone retail refrigeration.

UPDATE: Canada to align with the US on limiting the use of HFCs

At the UN Climate Summit held in New York on 23 September, the Canadian Environment Minister announced that the government would soon publish a Notice of Intent to regulate HFCs in-line with the proposals recently published by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Update: In December 2014, a Notice of Intent was published specifying that the government considers prohibition of R134a and other high GWP refrigerants in commercial refrigeration. Consultation is open until 16 January 2015.

UPDATE: What does the carbon tax repeal in Australia mean for natural refrigerants?

In July 2014, Australia became the world’s first developed nation to repeal carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), including the carbon equivalent levy on HFCs. In order to investigate the likely impact this action will have on the use of natural refrigerants, interviewed several HVAC&R experts based in Australia. UPDATE: R134a/CO2 technologies in Australia can be considered to have reached the world's best practice levels.

Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection offers subsidy for R290 Air Conditioner production

On 29 April, as part of the ‘Room Air Conditioning Industry HCFC Phase-out Management Action Plan’, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection published a list of nine air conditioner (AC) makers eligible to receive the Incremental Operating Cost (IOC) subsidy to help cover both the cost to companies of transforming AC production lines to R290 and the increased cost of producing each R290 unit for the first few years of production.

Event News and Featured Products

UPDATE: AHR EXPO 2014: hydrocarbons product suppliers charged up for growth

Attracting more than 38,000 buyers and 1,900 exhibiting companies, the 2014 AHR Expo in New York City, organised from the 21-23 January, was undoubtedly one of the largest HVAC events of the year. was on site to take the temperature of the market, which is rising gradually, although not as quickly as first anticipated, and to report on the R290 and R600a products on show, which this year included compressors, condensing units, and charging equipment. +VIDEO

EuroShop 2014: Dramatic increase in hydrocarbons for small applications since 2011

From 16 – 20 February, more than 109,000 visitors traveled to Düsseldorf, Germany to attend EuroShop 2014, the world’s largest trade fair for retail. on-site reporters witnessed a massive presence of hydrocarbons solutions for food retail. Part two of our EuroShop reporting looks at small application of hydrocarbons on show.

Mostra Convegno 2014: hydrocarbon technologies in demand reports from Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) held from 18-21 March, 2014 in Milan, Italy. Over 2000 exhibitors in the HVAC and renewable energy sectors exhibited their latest solutions in global comfort technology. In preparation of the EU F-Gas Regulation there was a clear tendency for manufacturers to offer hydrocarbon optimised solutions for high performance efficiency and wide operating envelopes. caught up with our Partners and affiliate companies displaying compressors, components, controllers and lead-generation water coolers, all using hydrocarbon refrigerants. +PHOTOS

Embraco’s new WISEMOTION to revolutionise domestic refrigeration

On the 19th of March, Embraco launched its WISEMOTION technology, a brand new concept designed to revolutionise domestic refrigeration. Coming to the market after 10 years of development and with more than 80 patents, WISEMOTION is the world’s first oil-free compressor for residential applications +VIDEO

2014 China refrigeration: latest hydrocarbons products on display

At the 2014 China Refrigeration Exhibition in Beijing, a number of international and Chinese suppliers showcased their latest hydrocarbon products. looks at those exhibitors displaying R290 and R600a products. +PHOTOS

Video interview exclusives with Secop at China Refrigeration 2014 journalists, on the scene at China Refrigeration 2014 in Beijing, report on latest innovative developments and market prospects for Secop’s compressors in four exclusive video interviews.

ATMOsphere America 2014: Red Bull, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola talk HC cooling technology and future strategy

At the most well received ATMOsphere America conference to date, 250 industry experts gathered to discuss the future of natural refrigerants in North America. Red Bull, McDonald’s and The Coca Cola Company shared their progress in the implementation of hydrocarbon refrigerants (HC) and highlighted what is needed in order for them to move forward: innovation at cost parity and building a cohesive and sustainable supply chain. Around 1.5 million pieces of refrigerated equipment used by McDonald’s, Red Bull, and The Coca Cola Company have been converted to natural refrigerants to date.

A greener future is brewing: SABMiller plans to phase out HFC fridges by 2020

In an effort to halve its carbon footprint, the world’s second largest brewing company, SABMiller has vowed to cease purchases of HFC fridges after 2020. The brewing company has already launched several initiatives aimed at reducing emissions, including the introduction of HFC-free refrigeration units in Colombia and Poland.

R290 in air conditioning in China and India - Part I

At the 2014 Gustav Lorentzen conference in Hangzhou, China, the use of R290 in room air conditioners was one of the main topics discussed, with a number of papers presented on the subject. Significant progress on R290 AC technology development in China and India was demonstrated, with 80,000 R290 ACs already operating in India, and R290's high levels of energy efficiency validated for scroll compressors in China.

Hydrocarbon refrigerant solutions shine at Chillventa 2014 – Part 1

Chillventa 2014, the leading international trade fair for the HVAC&R industry, which took place from 14-16 October in Nuremberg, Germany, brought together more than 30,000 visitors and 984 exhibitors representing over 110 countries. journalists attended the event to find out about the latest hydrocarbon products and innovations, and in part one of the reporting look at the R600a and R290 product offering from GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE partners. +PHOTOS


By Silvia Scaldaferri

Dec 18, 2014, 12:43

Related stories