Ammonia as a Refrigerant ASHRAE

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2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution. or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. COMMITTEE ROSTER, The ASHRAE Position Document on Ammonia as a Refrigerant was developed by the Society s Refrigeration. Committee Position Document Committee formed on January 8 2016 with Dave Rule as its chair. Dave Rule Chair Georgi Kazachki,IIAR Dayton Phoenix Group. Alexandria VA USA Dayton OH USA,Ray Cole Richard Royal. Axiom Engineers Inc Walmart,Monterey CA USA Bentonville Arkansas USA. Dan Dettmers Greg Scrivener,IRC University of Wisconsin Cold Dynamics.
Madison WI USA Meadow Lake SK Canada,Derek Hamilton. San Francisco CA USA,Other contributors,M Kent Anderson Caleb Nelson. Consultant Azane Inc,Bethesda MD USA Missoula MT USA. Cognizant Committees, The chairperson of Refrigerant Committee also served as ex officio members. Karim Amrane,REF Committee,Bethesda MD USA, 2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution.
or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. REVISION REAFFIRMATION WITHDRAWAL DATES, The following summarizes the revision reaffirmation or withdrawal dates. 1 28 1993 Board of Directors approves Position Document titled Ammonia as a Refrigerant. 1 17 2002 Board of Directors approves revised Position Document titled Ammonia as a Refrigerant. 1 26 2006 Board of Directors approves reaffirmation of Position Document titled. Ammonia as a Refrigerant, 1 30 2010 Technology Council approves reaffirmation of Position Document titled. Ammonia as a Refrigerant, 6 30 2013 Technology Council approves reaffirmation of Position Document titled. Ammonia as a Refrigerant, 7 2 2014 Board of Directors approves revised Position Document titled Ammonia as a Refrigerant. 2 1 2017 Board of Directors approves revised Position Document titled Ammonia as a Refrigerant. Note Technology Counci l and t h e co gn i z an t com mitt ee re co m me n d revision. r e a f f ir m a t io n o r withdrawal every 30 months. 2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution. or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. ASHRAE Position Document on,Ammonia as a Refrigerant.
SECTION PAGE,Abstract 1,Executive Summary 2,1 The Issue 3. 2 Background 3,2 1 Ammonia Specification and Applications 3. 2 2 Refrigeration Uses of Ammonia 4,2 3 Health and Safety 5. 2 4 Environmental Aspects 5,2 5 Considerations of Ammonia as a Refrigerant 6. 2 6 Regulatory Classifications 7,2 7 Risk Assessment 8.
3 Recommendations 9,3 1 ASHRAE s Strong Position 9. 3 2 Policy 10,3 3 Research 10,3 4 Standards Codes and Guidelines 11. 3 5 Technology Transfer and Education 12,References 13. 2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution. or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. Ammonia has been continuously used as a refrigerant since the initial practical use of the vapor. compression refrigeration cycle was developed It has remained the main refrigerant used in industrial. refrigeration systems because of its superior thermodynamic properties and low cost Regulatory. oversight on refrigerants such as CFC HCFC and other synthetic refrigerants have re focused attention. on ammonia to emerge as one of the widely used refrigerants that when released to the atmosphere. does not contribute to ozone depletion and global warming Ammonia is generally considered to be. benign to the environment ASHRAE encourages the continued use of ammonia for industrial and. commercial refrigeration food preservation indirect space conditioning heat pumps and other. applications ASHRAE participates in a variety of programs such as a dedicated chapter in the. Refrigeration Handbook and several current and former research projects to promote the economic and. environmental benefits of ammonia refrigeration and will continue to provide guidance for the proper. design safe use and management of risk, 2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution. or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, Globally there is a growing interest in ammonia as a refrigerant both by itself and in cascade.
refrigeration systems with carbon dioxide and other secondary system designs Regulatory. oversight on CFC HCFC and other synthetic refrigerants have re focused attention on ammonia to. emerge as one of the widely used refrigerants that when released to the atmosphere does not. contribute to ozone depletion and global warming New technology and equipment is leading to. low and reduced ammonia charge designs The application of these new low charge systems and. packages creates an opportunity to use ammonia systems in a broad range of industrial. commercial and indirect space conditioning applications that would not have been considered with. traditional designs These changes will require industry to provide proper recommendations for. both design safety and guidance for regulatory and code agencies. Ammonia is an efficient and popular refrigerant due to its superior thermodynamic properties and. low cost Ammonia is environmentally benign having zero GWP and zero ODP It is hazardous. when released in large quantities due to its toxicity However ammonia does exhibit a unique. refrigerant characteristic due to its irritating odor Persons exposed to an ammonia release will not. voluntarily stay near concentrations that are health threatening Although ammonia will burn in a. narrow range of high concentrations it is difficult to ignite and will not support combustion after. the ignition source is withdrawn Ammonia has an ASHRAE flammability class of 2L low. flammability, ASHRAE encourages the continued use of ammonia for industrial and commercial refrigeration. food preservation indirect space conditioning heat pumps and other applications ASHRAE. participates in a variety of programs to promote the economic and environmental benefits of. ammonia refrigeration and will continue to provide guidance for the proper design safe use and. management of risk, 2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution. or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. 1 THE ISSUE, Refrigerant selection has become increasingly complex in recent years Globally the interest in ammonia and. other natural refrigerants has become more focused due to increased regulatory oversite on the use of CFC. HCFC and other synthetic refrigerants The consideration of these refrigerants continues to come under. question due to the environmental concerns caused from ozone depleting potential ODP global warming. potential GWP energy efficiency total equivalent warming impact TEWI and life cycle climate performance. Ammonia is a natural refrigerant that has been used for many years in a variety of applications due to its high. thermal efficiency Since ammonia is environmentally benign having zero GWP and zero ODP. characteristics ammonia is emerging as one of the primary natural refrigerants of choice. New technology is leading to low and reduced ammonia charge designs The application of these new low. charge systems and packages creates an opportunity to use ammonia in a broad range of new industrial. commercial and indirect space conditioning applications that would not have been considered with traditional. designs These changes will require industry to provide proper recommendations for both design safety and. guidance for regulatory and code agencies,2 BACKGROUND. Ammonia chemical symbol NH3 United Nations Chemical I D 1005 is produced both naturally and as a. byproduct of numerous man made reactive processes Large amounts of naturally occurring ammonia gas come. from livestock animals soil surfaces and even the human body Manmade processes that emit ammonia to the. atmosphere include fuel combustion processes and sewage treatment plants. The nitrogen component of ammonia was first recognized as an important fertilizer around 1840 and ammonia. was first used as a refrigerant around 1850 Ammonia was first commercially produced in the United States. about 1880 as a distillation by product of coal processing to produce coke and coal gas. The first direct synthesis commercial process was developed in Germany by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch in 1913. The wide variety of ammonia uses throughout agriculture and industry combined with varied and highly. efficient manufacturing processes has kept the costs of commercially manufacturing ammonia low Natural gas. is one of the feedstocks used for large scale ammonia production The rapid increase in the availability of natural. gas in the U S and elsewhere due to new drilling technologies has kept the cost of this feedstock down helping. to keep down the cost of the ammonia product,2 1 Ammonia Specification and Applications.
Ammonia is an alkaline colorless chemical compound that is well recognized as the basis for household cleaning. products It also has many agricultural industrial and commercial uses It is available in five generally recognized. grades fertilizer refrigerant federal metallurgical and semiconductor depending on its level of purity. Refrigeration grade ammonia is 99 98 percent pure and is relatively free of water and other impurities. maximum 150 ppm water 3 ppm oil 0 2 ml g non condensibles It is readily available inexpensive operates. at pressures comparable with other refrigerants and is capable of absorbing large amounts of heat when it. evaporates, 2017 ASHRAE www ashrae org For personal use only Additional reproduction distribution. or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE s prior written permission. Of the estimated 140 million metric tons of ammonia produced commercially throughout the world in 2013 8 7. million metric tons in the United States over 80 percent is used for agricultural purposes1 Some of the. agricultural uses of commercial ammonia include,Direct injection into soil as a fertilizer. Production of urea colorless crystalline material that is a highly concentrated form of nitrogen fertilizer and. a source of protein in livestock feeds,Pre harvest cotton defoliant. Anti fungal agent on certain fruits, The remaining 20 percent of commercially manufactured ammonia is used for numerous industrial. applications such as, Direct injection in selective catalytic reduction control of nitrogen oxides for stack emissions.
Direct injection of ammonium hydroxide for stack emissions to neutralize sulfur oxides from sulfur. containing fuels, Nitrogen component for the manufacture of explosives such as TNT and nitroglycerin. Closed loop refrigerant in many industrial and indirect commercial refrigeration systems. Neutralizing agent for acid constituents in sewage treatment plants. Less than 2 percent of all the ammonia commercially produced in the world is used as a refrigerant. 2 2 Refrigeration Uses of Ammonia, With continued regulatory oversight on the use of synthetic or halocarbon refrigerants alternative refrigerants. for use in existing refrigeration systems are actively being investigated. Ammonia is one alternative refrigerant for new replacement and existing refrigeration system designs where. compatible Ammonia has a low boiling point 28 F 0 psig an ozone depletion potential ODP of 0 00 when. released to atmosphere and a high latent heat of vaporization eight 8 17 at 28 F times higher than R 12 and. six 6 18 at 28 F times higher than R 134 a In addition ammonia in the atmosphere does not directly. contribute to global warming These characteristics result in a highly energy efficient vapor compression cycle. with ammonia as the refrigerant with minimal environmental impact. Ammonia s use in the HVAC R industry will increase as regulatory and code officials become informed of its. relative safety Applications for ammonia based refrigeration systems include thermal storage systems HVAC. chillers process cooling air conditioning winter sports district cooling systems heat pump systems. supermarkets convenience stores and increasing output efficiencies for power generation facilities Ammonia is. also already being used in large heat pump installations and supermarkets as well as in several high profile. projects including the International Space Station and Biosphere II. Ammonia is increasingly used in cascade refrigeration systems with carbon dioxide In these systems ammonia. is used in the high temperature stage to reject heat to the environment Carbon dioxide is used in the low. temperature stage to absorb heat from the load to be cooled and to reject the heat to the ammonia high. temperature stage Such systems allow the use of ammonia in a wider range of applications because the less. hazardous carbon dioxide can be used in more locations while the highly efficient ammonia can be kept in a. central mechanical room or rooftop package Ammonia is also used in conjunction with other secondary fluids. such as water or glycol for the same reasons noted above. Refrigeration Handbook and several current and former research projects to promote the economic and environmental benefits of ammonia refrigeration and will continue to provide guidance for the proper design safe use and management of risk

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