Paraguay favors ammonia for industrial sector
Ammonia/NH3 (R717) is considered the favored working fluid for the industrial sector in Paraguay.
That message was communicated in a webinar held on September 20, 2021 called “Sustainable cold chain and the Rome declaration: Ensuring nutritious and healthy food for all.” The webinar was organized by the United Nation Environment Programme Ozone Secretariat, the Italian Ministry for the Ecological Transition, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The Paraguayan Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development looks favorably upon ammonia due to its energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, said Gilda Torres, an engineer with the Ministry. The Ministry is working with stakeholders operating in HVAC&R sectors such as cold storage, dairy, food and beverage to adopt ammonia systems.
“We are working hard to support the safe uptake of this working fluid amongst stakeholders, as other substances previously used either deplete the ozone layer or are highly potent global warming gases,” Torres said. Paraguay accepted the Kigali Amendment’s HFC phase-down scheme in 2018.
To this end, the Ministry has drafted certifications detailing safe handling of ammonia-based industrial systems with the support of the National Institute of Technology, Standardization and Metrology. The effort has been supported by webinars illustrating the viability of natural working fluids in all refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors.
This endeavor is linked to Paraguay ‘s participation in the “Cold Chain Database Model” project launched in 2021 with the support of United Nation Environment Ozone Action and the Global Food Cold Chain Council (GFCCC). Its objective is to allow public institutions to holistically tackle cold-chain issues by gathering data on different systems and subsequently inform effective action.
Based on the analysis of the data, the Ministry will be able to design appropriate policies and technical interventions necessary to establish sustainable cold chains in the country, promote smart selection of sustainable cold chain technologies, and support best practices in operations and services of installed applications.
More natref projects in the pipeline
The Ministry is also working to implement solutions using hydrocarbons for domestic uses, as well as supermarkets and air-conditioning applications. Moreover, a pilot project relying on propane (R290) and run by solar energy is currently being designed to meet the refrigeration needs of remote areas.
Along the same lines, the European Union is financing the project Sophia (Sustainable Off-grid solutions for Pharmacies and Hospitals in Africa), with the aim of developing off-grid cooling systems for hospitals and pharmacies in Africa, using natural refrigerants.