October 1, 2018

Protecting the Environment and the Bottom Line


Stefanie Kopchick explains how Opteon™ low global warming potential (GWP) stationary refrigerants can produce ice surfaces that meet the exacting standards of professional hockey—without depleting the ozone layer.

An image of Stefanie Kopchick, Global Market Manager, Opteon™ Low Global Warming Potential Stationary Refrigerants at The Chemours Company.


Face-off! The puck drops. The players slap at it. A pass and then another. A stick is raised, and by the time the crack registers in the stands, the puck is at the back of the net. The siren sounds, but who can hear it over the roar?

It all happens so fast. That’s the beauty of hockey—its speed. We have ice to thank for that. If the ice surface is not the right temperature, it can slow down the puck, the players, and the excitement. Controlling that ice requires a minor miracle of chemistry.

Ice plants running on Opteon™ refrigerants can produce ice surfaces that meet the exacting standards of professional hockey. And they do it without depleting the ozone layer, while significantly reducing GWP. The hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-based refrigerants in the Opteon™ portfolio also provide rink operators with energy-efficient, nonflammable, and low toxicity solutions—reducing the cost and complexity of running and maintaining the rinks, compared to other refrigerant options.

The chemistry continues above the ice too. Chillers, also running on refrigerants, keep the air cool and dry. Improper temperature and humidity in the arena can distress the ice, slowing down players, not to mention bringing discomfort to the athletes and fans.

The magic of hockey extends far beyond the walls of professional arenas. Local rinks, which bring communities together for a fun day of skating or junior hockey, need to remain affordable. Anything that increases the costs of running a facility, though, may drive up rink fees, which can deter potential players. Case in point: R-22, a commonly used refrigerant in ice rinks. Environmental regulations are phasing out R-22, causing supply-and-demand imbalances and, ultimately, significant price fluctuations. This leaves many rink owners and operators grappling with big financial questions.

Fortunately, Opteon™ isn’t just environmentally sustainable; it’s a cost-effective, long-term solution. Opteon™ refrigerants can provide safe and affordable solutions, enabling rinks to retrofit existing equipment with minimal transition time—or even install new systems when needed.

Opteon™ low GWP products are emblematic of the advances chemistry continues to make. It, and other breakthroughs like it, provide more opportunities for innovative, sustainable technologies that protect the environment and the bottom line.


This content was featured in the Chemical & Engineering News 10/1/18 issue.

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