R290, A refrigerant for the future


Using R290 propane as a refrigerant

R290 is the common name for high purity propane that is extremely suitable for use as a refrigerant. It is already being used in medium and low temperature refrigeration and air conditioning systems as an alternative to HCFC refrigerants.

The use of R290 is increasing due to its low environmental impact and excellent thermodynamic performance. It is non-toxic and has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of 0 and a global warming potential (GWP) of 3.

The EU F-Gas Regulation is concerned with phasing down F-gases and preventing their release into the atmosphere. R290 contains no fluorine or chlorine and are thus not affected by the regulations.

This is a future-proof solution due to its wide availability and low price. It is also not hazardous to water.

One drawback, however, is its flammability. There are therefore numerous restrictions for its usage, e.g.imposed by local building codes, in some EU Member States, such as for high-rise and/or public buildings. However, the EBoxis placed outside main buildings and there are high security processes controlling its use. 

The pros and cons of using R290


  • Low GWP (3)
  • No ODP (0)
  • Future-proof, widely available and inexpensive refrigerant
  • Low final compression temperatures resulting in deep evaporation with a single stage system
  • Not affected by the EU F-Gas Regulation
  • Small filling quantity due to good density/evaporation heat ratio
  • Good material compatibility
  • Good print position
  • No risk of water contamination


  • Flammable