R-32, a single component refrigerant, has benefits that distinguish it from blended refrigerants. Single component refrigerants provide benefits that include no-compositional change, the ability to be charged in either liquid/gas phase, no temperature glide, and they are easier to reuse and reclaim.
So why is this all important?
Because there is no change of composition with R-32, this refrigerant can be topped off. With other non-azeotropic blends, it is not recommended to top off; the equipment may need to be evacuated and then recharged with new refrigerant, which can be costly in terms of materials and labor.
In my earlier post I highlighted the importance of reusing and reclaiming refrigerants. Recovered R-32 can be reused (or as the EPA describes “recycled”) on-site in equipment of the same owner without having to worry about compositional change.
If R-32 needs to be reclaimed by a reclaimer, so that it can be reused in equipment owned by a different user, a reclaimer can process R-32 back to AHRI Standard 700 by simple processing such as removing moisture, acidity, and other contaminants.
With non-azeotropic blends, however, it is likely the composition has changed so it needs to be brought back to its original composition by either adding the missing component or by fractionation/distillation. Additionally, some alternative low-GWP blends can be proprietary to the companies that developed them and may be covered by patents, potentially restricting reclaimers when they process it back to its original blend composition.
R-32 has many benefits, among them the ease with which it can be reused and reclaimed.
Author: Tatsuro Kobayashi