About The Product

  • Safer for the atmosphere: (zero ozone depletion).

  • Very Low global warming potential (GWP).

  • All results to date display excellent energy savings.

  • Inherently safer in use (lower flammability risk with the smaller amount needed).

  • Uses one-quarter the mass of current compositions for same purpose.

  • HCR188C/R441 and all derivatives are made in the U.S.A

  • Good solubility, with refrigerant and lubricating oils ensuring efficient circulation and better cooling. >

  • All research, development and testing, by the inventor, (and by independent companies under contract), has been performed within the United States.


Leak Detection

The inherent properties of these refrigerant gases make them very sensitive to detection.

In a service application the Inficon Gas-Mate is a typical option for easily detecting possible leaks.

Historical Background and Perspective Against which R441/HCR188C was Developed

For decades, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) such as dichlorodifluoromethane and monochlorodifluoromethane were used as refrigerants in air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers for consumer, industry and automotive use. The CFCs were effective in their function and displayed the advantages of safe incombustibility, high stability and low toxicity. Unfortunately, they were ultimately shown to have been rapidly contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer.

Restrictions on CFCs were enacted and their use was greatly reduced. Various alternatives with similar functionalities were developed in the form of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) such as 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane and 1,1,1-trifluoroethane. These HFCs did not degrade the ozone layer to the same extent, but were still found to have an adverse effect on global warming. Thus, more recently there has been interest in developing pure hydrocarbon (HC) compositions that display similar properties but are non-fluoro- and non-chloro-based. Such compositions would not contribute significantly to destroying the ozone and/or causing global warming.

A.S. Trust & Holdings set out to develop one or more HC combinations for new coolant fluids that would be based on purely green chemistry, friendly to the climate and also energy efficient. Target applications included cooling systems such as those found in consumer (home) air-conditioning systems, commercial/industrial air-conditioning systems, and air conditioners for use in automobiles and other vehicles, refrigerators, freezers and beverage vending machines.

After several years of research and testing, A. S. Trust & Holdings developed a substitute pure hydrocarbon (HC) formulation, R441/HCR188C, that has been independently evaluated to have both a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a very low global warming potential (GWP). R441/HCR188C is made from all naturally occurring substances approved for common use, including ethane, propane, isobutane and butane. The key element to the performance is the exact proportions of these components. This substance can be used independently of CFCs and HFCs/HCFCs, and its cooling efficiency is such that compared to a full charge of the CFC R12, just one-quarter the mass of R441/HCR188C is needed in a refrigerator or automotive air-conditioning system; similar results hold compared to the high-GWP formula HFC R134a. A major safety improvement of R441/HCR188C over current HCs lies in its reduced charge rate compared to common propane/butane combinations. Another problem with current HFCs is decomposition upon leakage, which causes the HFC to become less efficient and require more frequent replacement. R441/HCR188C retains its cooling properties, extending the lifetime of the unit. A.S. Trust & Holdings has been using R441/HCR188C for automotive and refrigerator cooling for over ten years.

Significance for Green Chemistry

R441/HCR188C improves on current refrigerant offerings as follows:

  1. It eliminates the pollutant impact on the environment of previously employed CFC, HCFC and HFC chemicals, or of HCs combined with CFC and HFC/HCFC chemicals, particularly serving as a direct replacement for the coolant R12, which has been mandated to be phased out of use by 2010, as well as for the most common refrigerants used today, HCFC R22 and HFC R134a~ As evaluated by Intertek ETL-SEMKO Division, an independent testing laboratory in Columbus, OH, the ozone depletion potential (ODP) of the R441/HCR188C blend has been calculated to be zero, due to the absence of any halogenated compounds, and its GWP is also very low.

  2. A.S. Trust & Holdings can readily transfer the technology from its approved use in household refrigerators and freezers and residential and light commercial air-conditioning systems (window units only) to other cooling systems, including but not limited to usage in beverage-vending machines and air-conditioning systems for autos, trucks, railroad vehicles and civil aircraft. The EPA approval process is currently underway for automotive air-conditioning systems.

  3. R441/HCR188C offers a cost-effective approach to (1) and (2) compared to current CFC and HFC/HCFC use due to the combination of standard, naturally occurring, price-competitive chemicals including ethane, propane, isobutane and butane. Pound per pound, one-quarter the amount of R441/HCR188C can replace a full charge of currently used R12. Operational testing has also demonstrated that systems running on R441/HCR188C use less energy while at the same time offering a greater degree of cooling than that of the traditional refrigerants.

  4. Benefits to human health and the environment are evident during all aspects of R441/HCR188C's lifecycle. Synthesis of the formulation is a simple physical combination of these naturally occurring substances. As stated, use of the coolant has zero impact on the ozone layer and zero impact on global warming. End-of-life disposal of any unused or spent R441/HCR188C is simple: if the R441/HCR188C had been mixed with a small amount of oil or lubricant for its usage, disposal would simply involve mechanically filtering out any residual oil or lubricant and using the remaining mixture as a fuel on a par with propane (e.g., loaded into a small tank and used for an outdoor grill).

Per the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), this is a non-toxic substance because it is a combination of previously approved naturally occurring substances.

Description of the R441/HCR188C Formulation and Properties

The innovation of this chemical formulation lies in the exact proportions of the separate components, which comprise propane, isobutane, butane and ethane. Propane, isobutane and butane comprise 75% or more by volume of all the constituent components of the HC composition.

Experimentation and testing by the independent testing laboratories Intertek and Chemir Analytical Services (Maryland Heights, MO) have shown that the mutual interaction of the respective components is such that the composition behaves like a single constituent and is highly resistant to decomposition. As such, the ignition temperature of the composition is at least equal to or greater than that of the individual components. Moreover, since its use for cooling is effective in quantities on the order of just two ounces in a household refrigerator, the resulting fire safety is therefore comparable to that of having two butane cigarette-lighters in the kitchen.

Furthermore, this stability of the composition ensures that even if some R441/HCR188C were to leak outside of a cooling system, the respective proportions of the essential components would be maintained, and the operating efficiency would not deteriorate. This would offer another improvement over such current formulations as R12, since less recharging of the system would be required.

Refrigerant and air-conditioning fluids are typically mixed with lubricating oils to minimize corrosion and wear on materials with which they come in operational contact. R12 and R134a are highly acidic and corrosive to aluminum; however, as a petroleum-based product, R441/HCR188C has no such corrosion issues, and requires very small amounts of oil for operation. It can also be used as a refrigerant without requiring mixing with any conventional refrigerants such chlorofluorocarbons, and runs with a near-zero wear-factor, as evidenced by visual inspection of systems that have used R441/HCR188C for more than ten years during its development and testing phases. In fact, the solubility properties of R441/HCR188C with both refrigerant and lubricating oils keeps the internal structure of the cooling system exceptionally clean as it does not allow any oil to stay in a single location.

Test Results/Cost Comparisons with Existing Formulations

Since it is highly desirable to create environmental improvements at low costs, the primary goal of developing R441/HCR188C has been to develop a non-toxic formulation that can replace such CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs as R12, R22 and R134a. To demonstrate success toward this goal, A.S. Trust & Holdings contracted with the testing laboratory Intertek ETL SEMKO (Cortland, NY) Valeo Engine Cooling’s Vehicle Wind Tunnel facility (Jamestown, NY) to conduct a series of tests on R441/HCR188C and compare the results to those of a relevant HFC. The investigations looked at both material properties and efficiency performance, evaluating the formulation as a refrigerant in a household refrigerator-freezer and as a coolant in a vehicle air-conditioning system.

  Using approved Department of Energy (DOE) standards as guidelines (DOE 10CFR PT 430-B-A1*AEI), Intertek tested both R134a and R441/HCR188C to compare the energy consumption of the two formulations when used in electric refrigerators and electric refrigerator-freezers. The initial name-plate charge was 113 grams, so the tests were first conducted with 113 grams of R134a. The appliance was then evacuated and charged with a direction replacement of R441/HCR188C of just 28.3 grams (25% by weight of the original formulation, less than 2 Tablespoons by volume). The results were as shown in Table 1:

Table 1: Results of Comparison Tests of Energy Consumption of R134a and R441/HCR188C in a Refrigerator

Test Run Test with R134a Test with 25% of rating plate
charge of
Average Ambient deg F 89.5 89.3
Average Freezer deg F 4.0 -1.4
Average Refrigerator deg F 30.1 30.5
Average Voltage, volts 119.7 120.6
Average Current, amps 1.1 0.8
Total Power Input, watts 134.6 90.9
Compressor Discharge, deg F 131 136
Compressor Suction, deg F 55
Compressor Discharge, psig - 135
Compressor Suction, psig - 10

The results show that the refrigerator/freezer, when running with R441/HCR188C draws only 68% of the total power required when running with the original R134a. Moreover, not only is the average refrigerator temperature maintained within less than 1% difference, the average freezer temperature is improved (lowered) by more than 5 degrees F, all based on using one-quarter the original amount of refrigerant.

Note the results with R441/HCR188C show that using this material, employing only 25% of the original material by weight, still required only 68% of the original power to function as well or better in thermal performance. Furthermore, comparing prices, a typical 2-ounce charge of R134a costs $0.62, while the corresponding 0.5-ounce charge of R441/HCR188C (all that is needed) costs $0.20, i.e., less than 1/3 the cost. R441/HCR188C costs less for manufacturers and saves energy for consumers.

Haier America confirmed this type of test result by pulling two refrigerators at random from their warehouse: a small cube-type (college dorm) model with a tiny freezer section and a large household refrigerator with a well-insulated, separate freezer. For both units, Haier used thermocouples to measure ambient temperature and temperature in the freezer and various locations in the refrigerator, first with the original R134a refrigerant and then with that refrigerant drained, flushed and replaced with 25% by weight of R441/HCR188. The results are shown in Tables 2 and 3.

Table 2: Cooling Performance of Small Cube Refrigerator Comparing Two Coolants

R134a R441/HCR188
Ambient Temp 81.4 deg F Ambient Temp 84.2 deg F
Freezer 27.1 deg F Freezer 26.3 deg F
Top Shelf 31.5 deg F Top Shelf 30.6 deg F
Mid Shelf 30.8 deg F Mid Shelf 29.8 deg F
Bottom Shelf 34.5 deg F Bottom Shelf 33.4 deg F

In the above test, all values for R441A/HCR188C performance are better than those for R134a.

Table 3: Cooling Performance of Large Refrigerator/Freezer Comparing Two Coolants

R134a R441/HCR188
Ambient Temp 84.1 deg F Ambient Temp 82.9 deg F
Freezer Top -1.7 deg F Freezer Top -0.7 deg F
Freezer Bottom -2.7 Freezer Bottom -1.6
Top Shelf 36.4 Top Shelf 34.8
Mid Shelf Side 37.8 Mid Shelf Side 36.1
Bottom Shelf 37.8 Bottom Shelf 36.2

In the above test, all values for R441/HCR188C performance are within 2 degrees of the results with R134a, yet the cost of materials would again be one-third, there would be no corrosion problems, and the global warming potential is zero.

Intertek also performed material-property testing on samples of R12, R134a (mixed with 1% R12 as is common practice), and R441/HCR188C, with each formula combined with mineral oil and/or polyalkylene glycol as a lubricant. Testing was done according to Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard practices as found in SAE J1662, Compatibility of Retrofit Refrigerants with Air-Conditioning System Materials, and SAE J2670, Stability and Compatibility Criteria for Additives and Flushing Materials Intended for Use in Vehicle Air-Conditioning Systems Using R134a (Proposed Draft). The results for the R441/HCR188C tests versus R12 (per SAE J1662) complied with the standards for miscibility, wear-testing, and stability in the presence of copper, aluminum, nylon 66, PTFE in skived (thin) sheets, polymide and PBT. Linear swelling values of various o-rings were higher than that for the criteria, but A.S. Trust & Holdings believes this property would actually create a softer, thicker physical form of the o-rings that would result in a tighter fit.

Material property results compared to those for a 99% R134a/1% R12 mixture (per SAE J2670) complied with the standards for viscosity, wear, and stability in the presence of copper, aluminum, iron, PTFE skived (thin) sheet, nylon 66, and various o-ring materials.

Actual vehicle cooling tests were performed by Valeo Engine Cooling at its Vehicle Wind Tunnel facility in Jamestown, NY. Here, a 2007 Toyota Camry air-conditioning system was tested using both the baseline R134a coolant charge and R441/HCR188C. Prior to taking thermocouple readings at 35 locations in the vehicle, the Valeo technicians tested various charge values of R441/HCR188C; they determined that the discharge temperature stabilized at 60 deg F with values of 4.9 ounces and above, so the comprehensive testing was done with that quantity of refrigerant.

Data was recorded in the wind tunnel with the vehicle operating at 65 mph/running with load, at 25 mph/running with load, and at park/idle, all at an exterior temperature of 109 deg F with 20% humidity. Average temperatures of the interior air at the a/c discharge outlet were 54 deg F at 65 mph and 59.5 deg F at 25 mph; even at park/idle, the a/c temperature still stabilized at 80 deg F, cooling the car by almost 30 deg F. By comparison, the standard system required 18.6 ounces of R134a to stabilize the a/c discharge temperature to 60 deg F, and at park/idle only maintained the interior temperature to the high 90s deg F.

Test Documents:

View the Pressure Temperature Conversion Data 

View the HCR188C2 PH Chart 

View the MSDS 188C2 Data Sheet 

View the MSDS R441a Refrigerant Data Sheet 

View the R441A 2 Page Product Descrip.001 

View the R441A P.T. Conversion Data 

View the R441A PHplot SI Data 

View the R441A vs R134A phPlot e 

View the R443A P.T. Conversion Chart 

View the R443A Product Introduction 

R441A/HCR188C -P H Diagram (xls) 

View the Compressor 1000 Hour Test Report 

View the Compressor Oil Analysis Report 

View the R441A/HCR188C1 Global Warming Potential Report 

View the Refrigerator Performance Test Results 

View the Auto Charge Determination Test Results 

View the HCR188CR441 charge rate Test Results

View the R441A/HCR188C White Goods Predetermination 12-12-08 Report