What will the Refrigerant Market be in 2023?

characteristics of freon refrigerants

Refrigerants can be used in the system to achieve cooling (and also heating) mainly through phase change in the system, and are widely used in household air conditioners, refrigerators, automotive air conditioners, and other fields. With it, you can sit in an air-conditioned room and eat iced watermelon on a hot summer day.

Fluorinated refrigerants are the most commonly used refrigerants, accounting for more than half of them.

Fluorine-containing refrigerants have many advantages, such as high refrigeration efficiency, stable properties, safety, and non-toxicity, so they have been widely used for a long time. However, in the middle of the last century, scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. The destruction of the ozone layer will bring huge disasters to humans and other living things. Later, it was discovered that the hole in the ozone layer was associated with the use of fluorinated refrigerants.

As a result, people began to improve refrigerants, hoping to reduce their harm to the earth. Today, four generations of refrigerants have evolved, as shown in the table below. The first and second-generation refrigerants have seriously damaged the ozone layer, and developed countries have basically eliminated them while developing countries are gradually reducing production. The third-generation refrigerant is the current mainstream. Although it will not destroy the ozone layer, its GWP (Global Warming Potential) is high, which means that it will cause global warming, and it is currently being gradually controlled. Although the fourth-generation refrigerants are environmentally friendly, they have low refrigeration efficiency, poor safety, and high production costs. Overall, although there are many varieties of refrigerants, none of them is perfect.

In 2022, three generations of refrigerants will reach "peak"

In 2016, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was passed unanimously. The amendments are expected to reduce global HFCs (fluorinated refrigerants) by 88%, thereby preventing global warming by 0.5°C by the end of the century. According to the agreement, the second and third-generation refrigerants will be phased out.

At present, China’s second-generation refrigerants are still in use, but they will be reduced by 67.5% by 2025, and third-generation refrigerants will become mainstream. But the third generation of refrigerants will soon usher in the “peak”. According to the regulations, the third-generation refrigerants will be based on the sales volume of each manufacturer in 2020-2022, and will be frozen and gradually reduced from 2024. 2022 is the last year of the base cycle.

From 2024, quotas for three generations of refrigerants will be implemented. In 2024, the third-generation refrigerants in developed countries will be reduced by 40%.

No matter what, the demand is always there

From the perspective of demand, household air conditioners occupy a dominant position in refrigerant applications, followed by refrigerators (cabinets) and vehicle air conditioners. Home air conditioners mainly use R22, R32, and R410a, refrigerators and automobiles mainly use R134a, and a small number of high-end models have begun to use the fourth-generation R1234yf.

In the first half of 2022, due to the epidemic, real estate, and other factors, the output of household air conditioners, refrigerators, and automotive air conditioners declined. At the same time, affected by factors such as politics and shipping prices, the export data of air conditioners and refrigerators also declined to a certain extent. However, due to the relatively rigid demand for home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators, the overall long-term demand has grown steadily.

Imagine what it would be like if you were at home in the summer without air conditioning and a refrigerator.


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