Today, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is not only an improvement in the living environment in our daily lives, but also the manufacturing process of advanced medical care and various industries, the quality improvement of products, food storage and logistics, etc. are now indispensable. A large amount of food is imported in Japan, but it goes without saying that it is refrigeration technology that makes it possible. The invention of thermal technology has made a significant contribution to the development of various industries and sciences.
The record of freezing is very long, and it is known that water was put in the jar of the base baked in the desert region such as ancient Egypt, it put it outdoors at night, and it cooled by evaporative latent heat. This cooling method is exactly the same principle in the current refrigeration and air conditioning. The history of refrigeration and air conditioning technology is surprisingly old, and the underlying theory was proposed by Sadie Carnoofine of France in 1824. The ideal heat engine cycle is called the “carno cycle” and the reverse cycle is called “reverse carno cycle”, and it is the basic cycle of the heat pump. Born in 1796, Carnaut became captain of the Corps after graduating from a technical school, and later left the army to study science. I was sick at the age of 36, and even though I established the basic theory of current refrigeration and air conditioning technology, this achievement was not evaluated in my lifetime, but I think the concept of the efficiency of heat engines is largely due to this Carno’s research.
An important component of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is the medium and refrigerant that transfer heat. In 1930, GE in the United States developed the world’s first home air conditioner as a refrigerant for SO2. The original refrigeration machine used nh3,CO2,SO2,ether, and natural refrigerant, but these have drawbacks such as toxicity and flammability to the human body. It was difficult to use in common places.
In 1930, fluorocarbons were developed to dispel these problems. Fluorocarbons are highly efficient, non-flammable, non-toxic, economical, and have the ideal properties as refrigerants and were said to be one of the best chemicals invented in the 20th century. Fluorocarbons have rapidly developed the field of refrigeration and air conditioning, but in 1974, dr. Rowland and others in the United States published a paper on the ozone depletion phenomenon of specific fluorocarbons, becoming a global problem.
Since the originally developed refrigerant (CFC) contained chlorine that decomposes ozone, the refrigeration and air conditioning industry has been developing and converting chlorine-free refrigerants (HFC) to protect the ozone layer. However, it has been pointed out that HFC refrigerants have also had a significant effect on global warming in recent years, and it is necessary to develop next-generation refrigerants. The conditions required for refrigerants are not only flammable and non-toxic, and the global warming coefficient (GWP) is small, but also requires high refrigeration capacity and economically acceptable prices. Fluorocarbon refrigerants are fluorine compounds containing carbon. If it is scientifically stable, it becomes non-flammable, but gwp increases by that amount. On the other hand, replacing fluorine with hydrogen to reduce GWP increases flammability, and flammability and low GWP are trade-offs, and we have not yet found anything to satisfy both.
In addition, the next-generation refrigerant has been proposed by refrigerant companies for various substances such as double-coupled and mixed refrigerants, but there are a variety of safety such as flammability, toxicity, global warming coefficient, efficiency, etc., and the ideal refrigerant to satisfy everything has not been developed.
In recent years, with the economic development of each country, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment has spread rapidly, and the increase in energy consumption and global environmental problems have become important issues, but environmental problems are complicated by various factors, and the causes and solutions are not simple. In addition, some political speculation, those that try to profit from this, and biased claims without technical basis, such as environmental groups, have made these issues more complex, making the essence difficult to understand. In the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, the effects of refrigerant on ozone depletion and global warming have been pointed out, and the solution has become a major issue. In order to protect the global environment and realize the sustainable development of humanity, solutions must be found based on scientific facts and knowledge. In recent years, various next-generation refrigerants have been proposed, but not only consumers but also people who are widely involved in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment have too many options, and it seems that they are exploring the situation.
Currently, there are no sites that provide comprehensive information on the physical properties and chemical structure of refrigerants, policies, regulations, applications, etc. in each country.
In view of the above situation and its problems, in order to transmit information based on essential and scientific facts about the next generation of refrigerants based on academic fields, and to transmit the latest information and policies on refrigerants in each country in a timely manner, to deepen the correct understanding of refrigerants, At Waseda University, w-refrigerant.com(https://w-refrigerant.com), a comprehensive information site on refrigerant, was launched. I would like to look forward to the information site W-refrigerant.com of Waseda University, which can answer questions and obtain various information about the next generation of refrigerants.
NPO Environmental Energy Network 21
Tetsuro Kishimoto, Chairman