Evonik’s customers can now purchase three new natural refrigerants throughout Europe and have them delivered using a means of transport particularly suitable for this purpose. This was made possible by the further shift of Evonik’s existing C4 Verbund in Marl toward petrochemical specialties, primarily by adapting production processes. The most recent result of these adaptations are three hydrocarbon-based gases: n-butane (DRIVOSOL® R600), isobutane (DRIVOSOL® R600a), and propane (DRIVOSOL® R290).
These three products, all of which also occur naturally, can be used as environmentally friendly and energy-efficient refrigerants in various appliances. This gives manufacturers of refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and heat pumps a new alternative to existing products. Against the background of the climate debate, this constitutes a valuable contribution to greater sustainability in the field of refrigeration technology. Over the last few years, the use of high-quality hydrocarbons has proven its worth due to their good compatibility and miscibility with the most common cooling lubricants.
In this case, quality makes all the difference. “We have many years of experience in the production of odorless liquefied gas mixtures, which we offer under the brand name DRIVOSOL®,” says Sarah Kranz, marketing manager at Evonik Performance Intermediates. “The most important characteristic is its high purity, which has so far been used primarily in aerosols for deodorants or shaving foam. We have now used our experience, particularly in reprocessing technology, to identify and exploit new applications.”
Thanks to technical advances, refrigerants can now be used safely, efficiently and, above all, cost-effectively. This opens up new areas of application for refrigeration systems in both the private and commercial sectors, benefiting both manufacturers and end customers. The market therefore offers high growth opportunities.
“Clearly, we want to be part of that growth,” explains Christian Bierhaus, head of marketing and sales at Performance Intermediates. “With the expansion of our specialties business, we are able to serve the increasing individual demand of our customers, while also making a small contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect. The latter succeeds above all through the higher energy efficiency that can be achieved with our products.”
Propane (DRIVOSOL® R290) has high energy efficiency and excellent thermodynamic and refrigeration properties. As an efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant substitute, propane is particularly suitable for use in air conditioning systems that are also operated at high outside temperatures (> +50° C). The natural refrigerants DRIVOSOL® R600 (n-butane) and DRIVOSOL® R600a (isobutane) are characterised above all by better operating performance with lower refrigerant charge when compared to conventional refrigerants.