A new £1m refrigerant separator has been opened by A-Gas at its Portbury plant near Bristol.
The separator, one of three operated by A-Gas at the site, will more than double the company’s reclamation capacity at Portbury. This is seen as a significant investment by A-Gas which views reclamation as a growth area for its business.
A-Gas Managing Director John Ormerod said, “As the F-Gas regulations have a greater effect on supplies of high global warming potential (GWP) virgin refrigerants, reclaimed gases will have a growing role to play in the market place. Next year a 37% reduction in the quota of virgin gases will become a reality. This investment by A-Gas in separation technology highlights our commitment to providing the industry with the capacity and infrastructure to support the F-Gas phasedown.”
“A continued reduction in the use of HFCs will put significant pressure on the supply of high GWP refrigerants. There are shortages of some high GWP refrigerants already and prices have risen considerably. Reclaimed refrigerants are much needed to fill this gap in the market as the industry comes to terms with change,” Ormerod added.
The new separator, made of steel and 40ft high, took a year to build and install. The type of waste handled by A-Gas has changed over the years as mixtures have become more complicated and greater quantities of mixed gases emerge. Several different refrigerants combined together in one mix further raises the bar and without the latest separation technology it is near impossible to return the gases to the same kind of quality as virgin material.
The separator uses distillation technology to separate refrigerants of different boiling points. Once a gas leaves the separator it is sampled, certified to the meet the AHRI 700 standard and re-supplied to the market.
Last month A-Gas bought the Dutch reclamation company BTC to strengthen the reclamation side of its business in Europe.