All kinds of stuff was used for refrigeration,
including sulfur dioxide and ammonia. Doubt that
they were used together. Many of the fluids were
toxic and probably one of the reasons for the
switch to freon. Of course ammonia is still used
in absorption refrigerators used in many RV's and
industry. Doesn't seem to worry most people.
I was disputing the use of cyanide. Maybe what I
said wasn't too clear, so I'll say it a little
more forcefully. I suggest that no manufacture
would produce a refrigeration unit for home use
that uses cyanide. It just isn't conceivable that
the public would accept such a product, but all of
the A/C fluids were toxic or flammable before CFC
were introduced. Nonetheless cyanide is
certainly one of the compounds tried experimentally.
Sulfur dioxide along with ammonia, carbon dioxide
and methylene chloride were the main fluids until
cfc and some of these continued in commercial
applications. I'm surprised that any company was
manufacturing new machines for home use using
sulfur dioxide in the early 50's. Based on my
readings, most home appliance used freon at that
time, having taken over from ammonia refrigerators.
My father worked as a refrigerator repairman for
Sears a while before I was born. As near as I can
remember from his stories, everything that he
worked on was ammonia. We even had an old
refrigerator that he had converted from ammonia to
freon sometime around 1940. After a move, it sat
without running for many years but was used
continuously from around 1975 to 1990.
You were lucky, sulfur dioxide (btw it is SO2) is
This is Turtle.
The Refrigerator and freezers during the 1940's and 1950's had these Types of
refrigeriant in them.
These were the experimenting years and all these types was used to see which was
best. G/E Corp. used all these gases in refrigerators and Freezers and yes SO4
type refrigerators went in the residentiual homes during that time.
Sulphur Dioxide...how about methyl chloride?
Its how R12 came about. Frigidare corp, (Thomas Midgley Jr) and DuPont in
the 30s came up with good old dichlorodifluoromethane...R12.
What you DO NOT want is the new refrigerant that is possibly going to be
introduced to replace R134a.
R152a....its safe..till your compressor burns out, or you spring a leak and
get near it with any source of combustion..like plugging in something near
it and you get a little spark, or its been leaking and your door switch for
the light arks...
Ward Wells, a senior engineer at DuPont says, that in tests it has produced
"very forceful combustion" when ignited.
Here is the complete article:
See the prior post about what was used and a basic history..
Now, Arkel Servel is still making resi units that use ammonia. Real popular
in SoCal, and its a bitch when your gas bill in the summer exceeds the
BTW...Freon (used to apply to only R12, now any DuPont refrigerant) is toxic
in the sense that when you fail to follow proper brazing practice, you can
make phosgene gas, and by itself, it will displace oxygen and you can
literally suffocate in the stuff.
134a has its own issues...
Propane is a hell of a refrigerant, and was actually used by many a hack to
recharge older R12 units, particulary in automotive. And boy...thats just
what you want up front under your hood....a couple of pounds of propane
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