ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) marked a milestone here with its 25th annual conference.

IIAR chairman Morris Eisert of American Industrial Refrigeration welcomed some 941 attendees with special praise for their participation in helping to “keep the association strong and moving forward.”

He noted, “A strong IIAR also equates to a strong industry. Ammonia continues to be the most accepted, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly industrial refrigerant in the world, and it will remain so for many years to come.”

He noted that when IIAR was founded some 30 years ago, there were 48 members. Today that total is close to 1,400, including designers, manufacturers, installing contractors, service technicians, educators, and end users.

“Because we represent the total cross-section of our industry, IIAR is recognized around the world as the authoritative source of information about ammonia refrigeration,” Eisert said. “That’s the real strength of IIAR and the foundation of our success.”

Morris Eisert

Highlights From Last Year

Eisert outlined what he labeled as highlights of the past year:

  • The Ammonia Refrigeration Management (ARM) task force has completed a near-final draft of “The Ammonia Refrigeration Management Program” to help plants with ammonia charges of less than 10,000 pounds operate safely and manage regulatory requirements. Eisert said there would be a test of the guidelines at a small facility this year, with plans to make the guidelines available during the summer.

  • Efforts continue to help members deal with regulation issues. The conference itself had sessions on how contractors can help small end users cope with regulations. A second panel had representatives from the EPA and OSHA.

  • The Standards Review Committee has completed work on a public review addendum to IIAR-2, “The American National Standard for Equipment, De-sign, and Installation of Ammonia Mechanical Refrigerating Systems.” Eisert said the addendum would soon be made available for review. He said the committee has begun drafting the next revision to IIAR-2, which is expected to be available for public review in 2004.

  • The Valve Committee has completed a public review of a draft ANSI trial standard for ammonia refrigeration valves. “We will be developing a canvass body to review the document in the coming weeks for ultimate publication as an ANSI standard,” Eisert said.

  • Work has begun on a design manual for ammonia/carbon dioxide cascade systems.

  • IIAR has completed a second video on emergency response. The association is also developing additional modules on valves and pumps for its “Basic Ammonia Refrigeration” video series.

  • During the past year, IIAR held two three-day seminars on ammonia refrigeration piping based on the Ammonia Refrigeration Piping Handbook. In addition, the Piping Committee has been revising the Handbook.

  • IIAR has been working with other associations and organizations to develop national training guidelines for ammonia refrigeration. “These will be voluntary training guidelines for ammonia refrigeration operators to promote the safe, efficient, and cost-effective operation of refrigeration systems and equipment,” Eisert said.

  • He also cited IIAR’s successful promotion of an “engineered alternative to water diffusion for ammonia” in the International Fire Code. Also in the realm of fire codes, he said, “IIAR members volunteered their time to work with local fire officials to teach basic ammonia refrigeration classes, review ammonia refrigeration applications, and review emergency response procedures with fire code and building code inspectors.”

  • The IIAR Web site ( has an area for members, and one that targets those outside the industry that can be accessed through The sites had about 10,000 hits in the past year, Eisert said.

  • The Spanish version of the testing software for the Basic Ammonia Refrigeration series has been completed. It goes with the previously translated videos and workbooks.

  • IIAR posters have been translated into 12 languages commonly used in Europe. There are now posters in 14 languages, Eisert said.

    A main focus for IIAR this year, Eisert said, is to increase memberships, especially through the end-user category. While end users make up about 48 percent of the current membership, Eisert said that is actually a small percentage of the end users who could be members.

    Publication date: 06/23/2003