German retailer trumps Sainsbury's on "atmosphere-friendly" coolants

The debate about the most "environment-friendly" refrigerants in supermarket applications took a major stride in June when Sainsbury's announced that it is abandoning the use of ozone-depleting HCFCs in its new stores. But the company's decision to switch to HFCs, which have a high global warming potential, has been called into question by a German supermarket chain which is installing an ammonia-based refrigeration system in a new store.

Refrigerator producers and users have been wrestling with the most suitable way of getting out of CFCs for some time. The options offered by chemical companies producing CFCs are the HCFCs and HFCs. Both of these have their drawbacks. The main HCFCs on offer are ozone depleters, albeit less potent than the CFCs. And most of the HFCs currently available have a high global warming potential.

German companies have led the way into other opti

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