Types of Refrigerants: Know Properties and Application in this List


Refrigeration, in most settlements, has now become the norm. People are looking towards refrigeration as a sole way of getting their foodstuffs and eatables to survive the weather conditions outside.

Types of RefrigerantsRefrigerators make use of refrigerants which are nothing but a liquid or gas designed to keep the cooling compartment cool. These elements are usually available in ACs, freezers, and other similar cooling machines. Sometimes, they need to be recovered from the HVAC systems and a good-quality refrigerant recovery machine can help in a great manner for it.

Refrigerants are also known to harm our environment adversely by contributing to global warming. However, this article only speaks about the different types of refrigerants and not the harm that they bring to the environment.

Types of Refrigerants

Natural refrigerants:

As the name says, natural refrigerants are available in their true and raw form in nature and are associated with cooling stuff. These natural substances are readily available in the market and also at inexpensive prices.

They pose no harm to the environment in any way and don’t contribute to the harmful global warming gases in the atmosphere. Air, water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide are some of the natural cooling agents that can be used in place of the harmful ones.

CFC Refrigerants:

CFC or chloro-fluoro carbons consist of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon as refrigerants. These coolants have previously and currently been used in refrigeration for the household as well as commercial purposes.

Early in the 20th century, it was believed that CFCs are non-flammable and non-toxic, and pose no threat to the environment. These assumptions were later nullified by further research in the late 2oth century that CFCs do impact the ozone layer effectively, deepening the trouble pf global warming.

HCFC Refrigerants:

A modified version of CFCs, HCFCs contain hydrogen in addition to chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. They are quite non-toxic and are frequently available at lesser prices than other refrigerants.

Although they do exhibit the power of slowly eroding the ozone layer, they speed it up by only a fraction and are quite safer to use as compared to other coolants and refrigerants. Only as less as 10% of the ozone layer is being affected by HCFCs which may be a small number individually but is still a contribution nevertheless.

HFC Refrigerants:

Consisting of only hydrogen, fluorine, and chlorine, these refrigerants have made their way into plenty of cooling systems all over the world. They are particularly safer and simpler to use than any other CFCs or HCFCs.

Also, the absence of chlorine makes it quite safe and sound to be used without having to worry about depleting or damaging the ozone layer in any way. CFCs and HCFCs are banned in some countries across the globe due to the ill-effects on the ozone, but HFCs always make their way into cooling systems because they lack chlorine.

Brine Refrigerant:

Brine is nothing but a salt solution with the salt concentration ranging from 3.5-26%. Seawater is usually 3.5% salt while a solution saturated with salt sports about 25% salinity. The freezing point of the salt solution is quite low as compared to other solutions, and hence, brine is used as a thermal liquid is many coolants and refrigerating machines.

The most commonly used brines are sodium chloride and calcium chloride. Brine is typically used to freeze fish at air-blasting temperatures like -35oC, whereas the general temperature of brine is usually around -25oC. These temperatures are great to be able to store any foodstuffs at a commercial level on a large scale.

Other refrigerants:

As mentioned before, there are plenty of other refrigerants too, available in the market. Some of them are as listed below:

CFC refrigerants list:

  • R-12
  • R-22

HFC refrigerants list:

  • R-404A
  • R-410A
  • R-134a


Though the above-mentioned list consists of only 5 different types of refrigerants, there are plenty more. There are many more varied types of refrigerants that are being used widely all over the world now, and many more are being developed that have little to no chance of harming the environment in any way.

Also, one should note that the EPA certificate may be needed in order to purchase the not-so-common refrigerants. These are also frequently used in HVAC instruments. Make sure that you use the eco-friendly refrigerants so that your purpose is served without having to contribute to global warming.



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