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Expanding lubricant options for natural refrigerants – What are the limitations ?

Number: 0140

Author(s) : KARNAZ J., MUNOZ A.


The majority of compressors used in refrigeration and air conditioning applications require a lubricant to provide mechanical bearing protection, movement of heat away from the bearings and sealing of clearances. Refrigerants used in these applications are uniquely matched to a lubricant that meet criteria for effective system reliability and performance. The option to use any refrigerant and lubricant combination is not practical but with some refrigerants the combinations are increased while with others are reduced due to guidelines set for concepts like miscibility or working viscosity. Making the right lubricant choice for natural refrigerants also falls into the same criteria as with the synthetic based refrigerants. Some refrigerants like hydrocarbons are not as limited to which lubricant can be used compared to limitations in combinations of lubricants with such refrigerants as ammonia and carbon dioxide.
This paper will walk through how to determine what refrigerant and lubricant combinations are acceptable and how this understanding helps enhance overall system benefits. Examples will be given with various natural refrigerants and what lubricant candidate chemistries and properties are required to meet compressor lubrication, system design and interaction stability and compatibility. The focus will be on natural refrigerants with potentially some comparison to synthetic refrigerants and how choices for lubricant options compare.

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Pages: 10 p.


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  • Original title: Expanding lubricant options for natural refrigerants – What are the limitations ?
  • Record ID : 30029736
  • Languages: English
  • Subject: Technology
  • Source: 15th IIR-Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants (GL2022). Proceedings. Trondheim, Norway, June 13-15th 2022.
  • Publication date: 2022/06/13
  • DOI:
  • Document available for consultation in the library of the IIR headquarters only.


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