ATMOsphere America Conference Speakers Urge Adoption of Natural, not Fluorinated, Refrigerants

The annual event, held online November 3, attracted 20 sponsors and 373 attendees. 

Brussels, Belgium (November 10, 2021) – The ATMOsphere America Summit 2021, held online on November 3, featured provocative speakers who challenged the North American cooling industry to move beyond fluorinated refrigerants and adopt environmentally friendly natural refrigerants for refrigeration and air conditioning applications.

This 10th edition of the annual ATMOsphere America event, organized by ATMOsphere (formerly shecco), offered eight sessions and 12 speakers; it attracted 20 sponsors, 373 registered attendees and 935 live views of sessions. The platinum sponsor of the event was Hillphoenix while gold sponsors were Arneg, Kysor Warren and Emerson.

The online conference set the stage for the first in-person version of ATMOsphere America since 2019, which will take next June in Washington, D.C.

The program’s speakers, whose presentations can be accessed here, included two members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a representative of Publix Super Markets, a Canadian cranberry processor, and a professor of chemistry from York University. 

The keynote speaker was Beth Porter, Climate Campaigns Director for Green America. “One critical solution [to climate change] is found in our cooling systems; it’s of course replacing unsustainable refrigerants, and shifting towards accessible and climate-friendly cooling,” Porter said

Marc Chasserot, CEO of ATMOsphere, set the tone for the conference by asking whether retailers, food processors and other users of cooling systems can trust the producers of fluorinated refrigerants that have proved to be so destructive of the environment. “We are going to have to choose between dirty and clean cooling,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

Thomas Frank, CEO of German engineering firm Refolution Industriekälte, urged conference attendees to avoid hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants like HFO-1234yf, which turns into trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) when leaked into the atmosphere. “Before bringing tons of chemicals into the environment, it needs to be proven that they are harmless to humans and the environment, especially regarding chemicals with high persistence like TFA,” he said.