EPA approves CO2 for transport refrigeration

By James Ranson, Feb 06, 2015, 17:41 2 minute reading

In a notice issued on 15 October 2014, the U.S. EPA has listed CO2 as acceptable for use in new equipment in refrigerated transport. Petitioned by Carrier, the EPA listing will enable the manufacturer to pursue commercialisation of CO2-based transport refrigeration in the U.S.

The notice submitted for publication in the Federal Register will open up opportunities for CO2-based refrigerated transport equipment in the U.S., consistent with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Carrier’s commitment to commercialisation of natural refrigerants for transport

To facilitate greater adoption of CO2 in the U.S., Carrier petitioned the EPA to approve the low-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerant for transport applications. By 2020, Carrier expects to commercialise a CO2-based road transport refrigeration system, to complement its offering of CO2-based systems for marine container shipping and supermarket refrigeration, two essential segments of the cold chain. Carrier’s efforts to “green the cold chain” are part of the private sector’s commitment to reduce emissions of HFCs announced at a White House event on 16 September.

Also in September, Carrier lent its support to the creation of the Global Food Cold Chain Council at the United Nations Climate Summit, where it announced the pursuit of CO2 as a refrigerant across its cold chain offering. “CO2 as a natural refrigerant holds great promise across the cold chain as a preferred environmental choice for refrigeration," David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems, said after the United Nations Climate Summit.

Building on its expertise with the CO2OLtec CO2-based commercial refrigeration system in Europe as well as its CO2-based marine refrigerated container system, NaturaLINE, Carrier aims to focus on developing refrigerated equipment for road transport refrigeration. At the 2014 International Motor Show (IAA), Carrier Transicold presented a prototype of a natural refrigerant trailer unit that uses CO2 in a closed-loop system, marking an important step forward in this area.

CO2 found acceptable without use restrictions

Following the EPA’s assessment of the health and environmental risks of CO2, the refrigerant has been found to be acceptable for use in new transport refrigeration without use conditions. Nevertheless the EPA recommends that users adhere to requirements regarding permissible exposure limits specified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the recommended short-term exposure limit established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, the EPA recommends following the necessary safety precautions common in the refrigeration and AC industry.

Besides R744, another refrigerant, R450A, with a GWP of over 600 is listed as an acceptable substitute for use in transport refrigeration applications, and other applications such as retail food refrigeration, vending machines, household refrigerators, cold storage warehouses and industrial process refrigeration and AC currently using R134A.

About Carrier

Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier is a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions to, integrating energy-efficient products, building controls and energy services for residential, commercial, retail, transport and food service customers. Carrier is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide.


By James Ranson

Feb 06, 2015, 17:41

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