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freon from fridge

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Unread postAuthor: PinHead » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:25 pm

The simple, short answer to your question is, as it has been already said:

Either let it out somewhere that you don't think anyone will catch you, or bite the bullet and pay 50 bucks to get it done professionally. Those are really your only 2 choices.

Surprisingly, one important thing here has not been mentioned... How old is this fridge, and what type of freon is actually in it? Newer units made after a certain date use a different type of freon that contains no chlorine, which is the main element that concerns us as far as ozone depletion. The newer ones still pose a slight threat as a greenhouse gas, but they are nowhere near as dangerous as the older CFC freons.

The newer ones are known as HFCs, or Hydro Flouro Carbons... thus the lack of nasty chlorine. The most common example of a CFC is R12, which was used pretty much everywhere until it was outlawed in the 90's. That's why if your car needs a refill, everyone advertises retrofits to R134a, which is a HFC product; you simply cannot refill with R12, because no one is allowed to make it anymore, and even if you did find some, it would be hideously expensive.

As far as I know, it is illegal to discharge any freon in a mobile AC unit, but it's kind of a crapshoot with something like a fridge. If your fridge in question is older than 1995, then it very likely has the older style freon, which means you're screwed. However, if it's newer, then you have this one possibility...

Get in touch with the manufacturer, with the serial/model number of the fridge in question, and find out exactly what is in it. Then get in touch with someone who knows the local laws in your state regarding the discharge of different freon types, and you'll know exactly where you stand. Good luck.
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Unread postAuthor: VH_man » Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:40 am

134a is apparently an airsoft gas........

and according to my green gas can its full of freon, but contains no CFC's


And i was about to say.... I dont think they use freon anymore becuase of its nasty ozone depleting properties....
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:27 am

Back on the fridges:
What if I could drain, say, 90% of all freon and capture it into a tank using a vacuum pump, could I destroy the freon?
Like burning it, or reacting it with something?

What about this:
I would put it in a transparent container the sunlight for a long time so it can split up into its radicals.
Since the radicals will react with the container or maybe some other material I may put in, the only leftover gases are stuff like Cl2, O2 and some other stuff.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:58 am

Freons are generally not flammable (or not very flammable). That's one of their very useful properties. They are also generally very low toxicity. The old R-12 in particular has a safety rating of 1-0-0, which is about the safest rating you'll ever see for something.

If it weren't for their tendency to damage the ozone layer, freons would be "wonder solvents", non-flammable, non-toxic, excellent degreasers and cleaners, and chemically non-reactive.

So burning probably won't work. (Some freons are flammable but R-12 isn't.)

Photochemical decomposition might work but I would suspect that it will take a very long time, perhaps several years.

R-12 freon (the old kind that has been phased out) is still bought and sold though no longer made. The last I looked it was worth $20 to $50 a pound. A fridge probably contains a pound or two of freon. Call a couple recycling places, AC shops, etc., you might get lucky and find one that'll recover the freon for cheap if they get to keep the freon.
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