Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Refrigerants and Texas

Grade Level:

Activity Overview: Air conditioning depends on a pressurized system of fluid repeatedly evaporating and condensing within a closed system in order to absorb heat from the air inside your space. In the past, air conditioners used water, ammonia, or carbon dioxide. However, in order to adapt to higher demand for indoor cooling, companies turned to different chemical compounds and synthetic fluids in order to achieve better cooling efficiency.

Synthetic refrigerants improve the cooling capacity of air conditioning systems and require less energy to cool the air. However, when released from the system, these fluids have serious environmental effects.

Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs) contribute to ozone depletion. Hydroflurorcarbons (HFCs) do not interact with ozone but have an elevated global warming potential (GWP). International efforts have targeted each class of substances for global phase out, with serious effects, both positive and negative, for many different economies.

Use the information presented here and the article linked here to develop a cognitive link between changes in the global refrigerant market and the economy in Texas.

World’s Largest Factory for Green Refrigerants Opens in Texas

Chemours Inaugurates New Opteon™ Refrigerants Facility Near Corpus Christi, Texas

Summary: The Chemours Company opened a new factory in Ingleside, outside Corpus Christi, Texas, in February 2019. According to company information, the company invested over $300 million to complete the facility, which now employs 250 full-time employees and an additional 100 contractors. The operations of this plant triple global capacity of the more environmentally friendly refrigerant, which has no ozone depletion potential and a significantly lower global warming potential than other common refrigerants.

The concept map for this cognitive leap is as follows:

  • Some common historical refrigerants contributed to rapid ozone depletion and increased global warming.
  • Working together the international community targeted some classes of refrigerants for restrictions and increased regulation.
  • The private sector, seeing a growing market for more eco-friendly refrigerants, prioritized the production of new products.
  • Texas has a respected history of successful industrial and chemical production.
  • Industry has selected Texas as the production center of this new class of refrigerants, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in construction in the short term and creating hundreds of new long-term jobs.

TEKS

SS.7.13A, SS.7.13B

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