Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is naturally occurring in the atmosphere. Refrigerant-grade CO2, or R-744, is not. We explain this important distinction in globalFACT’s latest op-ed, “You can’t patent CO2” is a Patently False Claim in RAC Magazine. Here’s a preview:
R-744 is not an endless, naturally occurring resource. Carbon dioxide is indeed naturally occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, R-744, or refrigerant-grade CO2, is the product of chemical processing. Pure carbon dioxide and R-744 are not the same. R-744 is not extracted from thin air. In fact, in Europe, the major source of R-744 is a byproduct from ammonia plants, and there have actually been CO2 shortages in recent years. The unavailability of local source refrigerant-grade CO2 service gases has been an issue for operators, especially when dealing with a loss of system charge.
As a result, many retailers now carry entire backup CO2 charges on-site at their stores, which causes space and logistical challenges and adds operational costs for cylinder rentals.