Review of CFC and HFC-free refrigerators worldwide

At the beginning of December 2004, Brazil's first CFC and HFC-free refrigerator rolled off the BSH Bosh und Siemens Hausegerate GmbH production line. Following implementation for several years in Europe , then in Australia , China , India and Japan , the production of refrigeration appliances using hydrocarbons, is now making its debut in South America. Until the early 90s, virtually all domestic refrigerators were manufactured with CFCs, using CFC-11 in the insulation and CFC-12 as the refrigerant. In 1990, the combined total of CFC-11 and CFC-12 used in domestic refrigerators was approximately 40 000 metric tonnes. In 1992, a new technology called "Greenfreeze" was developed. It uses hydrocarbons for both the insulation foam blowing agent and the refrigerant. A mixture of propane (R290) and isobutane (R600a), or isobutane as a pure gas is used for the refrigerant and cyclopentane is used as a blowing agent. It was first applied to domestic refrigerators and later in commercial and industrial refrigeration. In 1994, Foron, a small German company started manufacturing Greenfreeze refrigerators. It was soon followed by larger manufacturers, such as BSH, which, back in 1993, switched to hydrocarbons, thus eliminated ozone-depleting/climate-altering CFCs and climate-altering HFCs in refrigerators produced in Europe . After the German manufacturers, the entire European market came on board, first of all with large manufacturers such as Electrolux and then, in 1999, "low-price" manufacturers such as Candy in Italy followed. Over the years, HC-based refrigerators captured more than 10% of the CFC-free domestic refrigerator market, mainly in Germany , Austria , Switzerland , the Netherlands and other Scandinavian countries. The switch then spread beyond Europe, for example in Australia, in 1995, when Email started selling their first line of Greenfreeze refrigerators, in China and India, where hydrocarbon technology was taken by manufacturers to their subsidiaries. In China , by 1999, Kelon had rolled out more than one million HC refrigerators. In 2002, Japan also started to produce hydrocarbon refrigerators and, by that time, over 100 million Greenfreeze refrigerators had been produced worldwide. The switchover of technologies at the Brazilian subsidiary BSH Continental Eleteodomésticos Ltda. today marks the latest chapter in this evolution. Since 1997, BSH's Brazilian factory has used exclusively CFC and HFC-free insulating foam. However, the switch to pure hydrocarbon refrigerants has been a more draw-out process. They are set to complete the development work by the end of 2005, so that all Brazilian-manufactured BSH appliances will then be entirely CFC and HFC-free. Source:,, and