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Article Source: engineering.com

Article Link: https://www.engineering.com/AdvancedManufacturing/ArticleID/18513/Worlds-Largest-Factory-for-Green-Refrigerants-Opens-in-Texas.aspx

Chemours makes refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP). And its new $300 million facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, will triple the company’s capability to produce these coolants and respond to a rising global demand for green refrigerants.

The facility will produce Chemours’ Opteon line of refrigerants. The Opteon YF product used in auto air conditioning has one thousand times less GWP than the legacy refrigerant. In commercial air conditioning, the Opteon XP40 product has three times less GWP than the legacy refrigerant, according to the company.

“This milestone is a tangible example of our steadfast commitment to providing the world with low GWP refrigerant products that are better for the environment,” said Chemours president and chief executive officer Mark Vergnano.

When a greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere, its potential to increase greenhouse gases is measured against carbon dioxide, resulting in a GWP rating. Refrigerants can be particularly damaging to the environment, and can have a significant GWP. Growing concerns about global warming and the harm that refrigerants can have on the environment are driving the transition to low GWP alternatives.

Chemour intends to maintain its position as an environmentally conscious leader in the field—which will be good for both the planet and for the company’s balance sheet. In fact, sales of Opteon refrigerants and related fluoropolymer products saw an increase of 8 per cent in 2018, amounting to $2.9 billion.

The low GWP refrigerants market is estimated to be $18 billion—and is expected to grow over the next few years.

Refrigerants are widespread within the heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. Industry leaders are promoting the adoption of environmentally sound practices and are advocating for the phase-out of some high GWP refrigerants. The industry is growing exponentially, which will likely mean that the market for low GWP refrigerants will grow along with it.

Opteon refrigerants: “A little more love for the cold chain”

This growth is partially due to the changing regulatory environment. The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, includes significantly reduced targets for the production and consumption of refrigerants by the end of 2035. In addition, The U.S. EPA and the European Union have adopted regulations to reduce the use of high GWP refrigerants—forcing end users to look for low GWP substitutes.

Chemours is positioned to take advantage of the global trend towards green refrigerants. And its massive new facility will help the company meet that surge in demand—and help protect the environment at the same time.

Read more about engineering solutions to global warming at Electrified Steelmaking Could Cut Five Percent of Global CO2 Emissions.