ICI claims breakthrough with ozone-benign refrigerant

ICI is claiming a world lead in the development of an ozone-benign substitute for the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in low-temperature refrigeration and air conditioning applications. Successful commercialisation of the new chemical would also make it easier to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs, which deplete stratospheric ozone but have been widely touted as important transitional substitutes for the CFCs.

ICI has announced that it will open a £4 million pilot plant in Widnes, Cheshire, in July to produce test quantities of HFC-32. HFCs contain no chlorine and hence will not damage the ozone layer. ICI is already producing another of these compounds, HFC-134a, at a plant in Runcorn, and is building two more full-scale production units in St Gabriel, Louisiana, and Mihara, Japan, for commissioning late in 1993.

Both chemicals are refri

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