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The hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) R-32 (CF2H2) is a component of refrigerant blends in the 407 and 410 series being tested and commercialized for use as replacements for R-502 and the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R-22. The molecular sieve desiccants used with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and HCFC mineral oil systems in the past have achieved high water capacity by excluding the refrigerant and adsorbing only the water. Unfortunately, R-32 is adsorbed on commercial type 3A molecular sieve desiccant products. The result of this adsorption is a loss of water capacity when drying R-32 compared to drying R-22 or R-502 and a reduced level of chemical compatibility of the desiccant with the refrigerant. Some compressor manufacturers are seeking a water concentration as low as 10 mg/kg (ppm[wt]) in the circulating refrigerant of polyolester-lubricated refrigerating equipment using these HFC blends. This paper compares unmodified commercial type 3A molecular sieve desiccants with a recently developed, modified 3A molecular sieve that excludes R-32. The modified 3A has better chemical compatibility with R-32 and high water capacity in liquid R-407C and R-410A. The drying rates of the two desiccants in R-407C and R-410A are similar. Data and test methods are reported on refrigerant adsorption, water capacity, drying rate, and chemical compatibility.

Units: Dual