Natural Refrigerant ammonia

Ammonia has been used as a natural refrigerant in industrial refrigeration plants for over 100 years. It is a colourless gas liquefied under pressure with a pungent smell. As a refrigerant, ammonia is known under the refrigeration designation R717 and is produced synthetically for use in refrigeration technology.

Ammonia has no ozone depletion potential (ODP = 0) and no direct greenhouse effect (GWP = 0). Due to its high energy efficiency, its contribution to the indirect greenhouse effect is also comparatively small. Ammonia is conditionally combustible. However, the ignition energy required is 50 times higher than that of natural gas, and without a supporting flame ammonia will not continue to burn. In conjunction with ammonia’s high affinity to humidity, this has led to its classification as hardly inflammable. Ammonia is poisonous, but has a characteristic pungent smell with a high warning effect and can be perceived in the lift from a concentration of 3 mg/m³. This means that the warning effect occurs long before a harmful concentration (> 1,750 mg/m³). Ammonia is also lighter than air and therefore rises quickly.

Even though ammonia is toxic, it is more helpful for monitoring in the compressor room and the supply lines to detect the pungent odour and thus be able to locate and remedy leaks. Besides the fact that ammonia is unbeatable in terms of effectiveness in use in the system. No secondary refrigerant comes even close to its effectiveness, as the surface requirements of the evaporator are much higher with freons or glycols than with ammonia. Especially in large installations and projects, ammonia is often used, even though in many European projects the magic limit of <= 3 tonnes of ammonia must not be exceeded in order to avoid state government restrictions. Nevertheless, in our daily work we see that the customer is willing to use ammonia (because of its high efficiency) and glycols (non-toxic odour and to get below the 3to ammonia limit) together.

We have always assimilated engineering science and thermodynamics optimally in the various manufacturing processes.

Thermodynamicists,mechanical engineers and welding engineers define the dimensioning, design and construction of customised heat exchanger panels and systems in materials ranging from mild and austenitic steels through to titanium, and ensure successful distribution of their work worldwide.

In doing so they fall back on production engineering expertise and calculations developed in the course of the past hundred years that are still being continuously optimised in an ongoing process.

In the perception of our customers, the Buco product stands for:

Technical and process-oriented consulting
Thermodynamic efficiency
Quality and longevity