Beer fridges: R404A and R134a on the way out

Hydrocarbons are expected to replace HFCs R404A and R134a in beer fridges the world over, heard at BrauBeviale, an international beverage trade fair taking place in Nuremberg, Germany on 8-10 November.

“R134a and R404A will be gone everywhere [for light commercial applications] in a few years,” Burak Türk, area sales manager at Ugur – a Turkish manufacturing group – told

“Propane compressors are a little cheaper than the alternative,” said Türk, citing this as a key driver of the adoption of propane in fridges used for cooling beer and soft drinks in supermarkets, bars and concert venues.

Alex Panas, marketing director at Turkish commercial refrigeration company Klimasan (exhibiting under the Metalfrio Solutions banner), echoed Türk’s sentiments. ”We only see a few markets using R134a and R404A in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. [Hydrocarbons] are a done deal for the rest.”

“Currently Europe is at 100%, the US is catching up, and Asia is not far behind,” Türk said.

End users driving demand for hydrocarbons

Globally, the Coca-Cola Company is already adopting hydrocarbons in bottle coolers and vending machines on a grand scale. By the end of 2015, the beverage giant had deployed more than 1.8 million HFC-free units worldwide.

Both Ugur and Metalfrio Solutions have begun to supply the Coca-Cola Company with fridges.

“Jupiler, Heineken, Coca-Cola, Pepsi…there is huge demand for this equipment. Everyone has gone this way,” Panas said.

Metalfrio has been supplying drinks companies with fridges for some time now. Ugur also supplies the Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi, Tuborg (a popular Danish beer), Carlsberg and Heineken with hydrocarbon systems – mainly using R600a.

We only see a few markets using R134a and R404A in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. [Hydrocarbons] are a done deal for the rest.
- Alex Panas, Marketing Director, Klimasan

Industry professionals are gathering at BrauBeviale at the Nuremberg exhibition centre from 8-10 November. 1,118 exhibitors and 37,000 visitors are expected to descend upon the German city to hear about about raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing for the beverage sector.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Nov 09, 2016, 11:13

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