Chinese industry widely uses R600a & researches on R290

By Sabine Lobnig, Jul 02, 2009, 18:21 1 minute reading

While R600a is widely used by the Chinese refrigerator industry and its price declines every year, R290 remains relatively expensive and is now used by some central air-conditioning enterprises, as well as some companies that conduct research.

The latest publication by JARN (Japan Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News) reports that according to China Appliance in 2008, over 90% of refrigerators rely on R600a in China. Meanwhile, while R290 has not been used to date in mass production, there are a few companies in the country which are currently conducting research on the application of R290 in air-conditioning.

Demand and price of R600a in China

According to China Appliance, the demand for R600a in the Chinese industry has been in the range of 3,000 to 5,000 tons for several years. The relatively low demand reflects the fact that only a small amount of refrigerant is required per unit of refrigerator.

In terms of refrigerant prices, the article reports that in 2007, the producer price for R600a dropped to RMB 14,000 (about $2,053) per ton, while it is expected to further decline to about RMB 13,000 per ton.

Use and price of R290 in China

R290 is at present used by some central air-conditioning enterprises, as well as some companies which are conducting research.

The price of R290 is relatively high in China, as the domestic production is very limited. The price ranges from an average of RMB 24,000 (about $3,500) per ton for imported R290 to an average of 19,000 (about $2,800) for domestically produced R290.

Future expectations regarding R290

China Appliances maintains that R290 will most likely be applied first in portable air conditioners that require small amount of refrigerant. Accordingly, as production of R290 appliances is expected to expand in the future, the price of R290 is expected to drop to RMB 15,000 (about $2,199).


By Sabine Lobnig

Jul 02, 2009, 18:21

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