Retailers Grapple With Refrigerant Conversions

"If a viable alternative that didn’t create an energy penalty existed today, I think every one of us in this room would jump on it. We haven’t seen it yet." — Jon Scanlan, director-refrigeration and energy management, Hy-Vee

On Jan. 1, 2010, food retailers reached a significant milestone for the phaseout of ozone-depleting R-22, their primary refrigerant over the past 20 years: the date manufacturers could only produce or import R-22 to service existing equipment — not new equipment, per the Environmental Protection Agency (following the Montreal Protocol treaty). That was intended to reduce consumption of R-22 and other HCFC gases by 75% below the U.S. baseline.

The next milestone comes in Janu

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