CHICAGO — Dynatemp Intl. Inc. shared booth space with Choice Refrigerants, and the two companies displayed a new residential split system designed to use R-421A, one of the R-22 alternative refrigerants offered by Dynatemp. R-421A, the only two-component blend to replace R-22, is non-ozone depleting and can be used with mineral, alkylbenzene, or polyolester oil. The new units are available in sizes ranging from 1.5-5 ton.

Will Gresham, executive vice president, Dynatemp, noted that as with most refrigerant distributors, for the past several years, Dynatemp has been focused on the hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) phaseout and the transition over to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as well as the R-22 alternatives.

“The majority of the industry has been pretty standardized  to this point,” Gresham said. “There are a lot of commodity products and a lot of sameness in the offerings. What’s new is an issue that has been developing and evolving over the last several years — the regulatory and political landscape. Dynatemp is a trusted source of information on both market trends and policy changes, and we expect 2018 to be an important year in determining the outlook for the future.”

Gresham noted there is a lot of change going on with the Trump administration in Washington. These include changes within regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the decision to exit the Paris Agreement; and the debate over ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

With all of that happening, most of the industry is focused on what’s going to happen in the short term.

“We’re seeing the United States kind of step back and watch other countries take over the leadership role in terms of environmental regulations, and that is having the effect of making policy in the U.S. hard to predict,” he said. “With the Kigali Amendment and the proposed phasedown of HFCs starting in 2019, we were on a clear path. But, without U.S. adoption of the amendment, we’ll have to see how the rest of the world reacts and moves forward.”

Gresham added the industry is also experiencing disruption in the supply chain.

“We’re seeing some outside pressures from China and other countries to force new environmental regulations and standards on mining operations, chemical manufacturers, and all the way down to freight and allocations of materials,” he said. “It’s primarily in China, but it affects fluorspar production around the world. Prices have increased significantly in the past 12-18 months for the components to manufacture the gases. We’ll be watching to see how that all plays out and what it means for the industry and for consumers.”

Dynatemp will also continue to closely monitor the industry’s progression into new refrigerants, such as hydrofluroolefins (HFOs), Gresham added.

“Creating standards for some of these gases that have mild flammability is going to be one of the biggest challenges in the industry,” he said.  

Publication date: 2/26/2018