In a first for the UK, A-Gas has launched a new high specification carbon dioxide (R744) refrigerant.

Known as ‘eCO2’ due to its environmental credentials, the new refrigerant is produced sustainably from waste sugar beet, is UK-sourced, and has excellent thermodynamic properties.

According to A-Gas, eCO2 sets the standard for those looking for a green alternative to HCFC gases like R22, commonly used in these industries.

The cooling industry has known for several years that R22 is being phased out but under recent amendments to the F-Gas Regulations, HCFC refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of 2500 are on a cap and phase down, with future supply being restricted.

Many retrofit refrigerants also fail the F-Gas test, so the eCO2 product from A-Gas provides a cutting-edge alternative for those looking for a sustainable option.

A-Gas Operations Manager Rob Parker said, “The X Factor for eCO2 is the sustainable way it’s produced. Most CO2 refrigerants are recovered from dirty industrial processes which are far from green in their methods. eCO2 is a by-product of bioethanol production from waste sugar beet – using crops not destined for sugar production.”

“This is a first for A-Gas and the UK market, as a CO2 refrigerant produced from waste sugar beet has never been on sale before on a commercial basis.”

“eCO2 can be used in a range of applications but it is particularly suitable for supermarket refrigerant systems, as its green credentials give it stand out qualities in an industry where reducing the carbon footprint is high on the list of priorities.”

Sustainably produced

Like traditional refrigerant grade CO2, eCO2 has a low environmental impact with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1.

However, with its ultra-low moisture content, eCO2 is certified to exceed refrigeration grade specification – giving it the edge over lower grade carbon dioxide. Low moisture content and high purity enable the refrigerant to work more reliably, which in turn extends the life of equipment.

eCO2 is recovered from the natural fermentation of the sugar beet crop. Bioethanol production is a highly integrated and sustainable local operation with the sugar beet crop sourced close to the factory. The waste beet does not compete with other food sources and, as part of the process, raw carbon dioxide is recovered, so no new CO2 enters the atmosphere.

Parker added, “Increasingly, supermarket chains are thinking of switching to greener refrigerants because they are aware of the phase-out of R22 and the changes under the F-Gas regulations. eCO2 is an attractive option for those who want to keep pace with these developments by choosing the first sustainably-produced CO2 refrigerant.”

eCO2 is available from A-Gas wholesale partners in a range of portable cylinders for standard use and manifold packs and dewar cylinders for larger installations.