What does the Refrigerant “R22” in Air Conditioners Mean?

what does the refrigerant r22 in air conditioners mean

R22 refrigerant is a member of the Freon family and belongs to the hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

Freon is a general term for halogen derivatives of saturated hydrocarbons (hydrocarbons) and is a class of refrigerants that appeared with the development of the chemical industry in the 1930s. Its appearance solves the search for refrigerants in the air-conditioning industry. From the definition of freon, it can be seen that the non-freon R134a, R410A, and R407C that people now call are actually freon.

R22 refrigerant can destroy the ozone layer because of the presence of chlorine in the refrigerant. And with the increase in the number of chlorine atoms, the ability to destroy the ozone layer increases, and the ability to destroy the ozone layer decreases with the increase of the hydrogen content. The greenhouse effect is mainly caused by the formation of a large number of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, during the slow oxidative decomposition of refrigerants. According to the molecular structure of Freon refrigerants, they can be roughly divided into the following three categories:

1. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), mainly including R11, R12, R113, R114, R115, R500, R502, etc., are listed as a class of controlled substances by the Montreal Protocol due to their damaging effects on the ozone layer. Such substances are currently banned, and R11 has been replaced by R141b in the process of manufacturing polyurethane sponges.

2. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), mainly including R22 refrigerant, R123, R141b, R142b, etc. The ozone depletion factor is only a few percent of R11. Therefore, HCFCs are currently regarded as important transitional substitutes for CFCs. In the Montreal Protocol, R22 is limited to 2020, R123 is limited to 2030, and developing countries can delay it for 10 years.

3. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), mainly including R134a, R125, R32, R407C, R410A, R152, etc. The ozone layer destruction factor is 0, but the climate warming potential is high. In the “Montreal Protocol” there is no specified period of its use, in the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” the Kyoto Protocol is characterized as a greenhouse gas.

All the refrigerants we currently use are freon products, and non-Freon refrigerants have not been developed so far. Until a new refrigerant is developed, what we have to figure out is which refrigerant will be less destructive to the environment we depend on.


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