Recovery and regeneration of R-22 for an oil company in Hungary

Industrial Refrigeration
The company Climalife, based in Budaors on the outskirts of Budapest, offers a complete treatment solution to an oil company in cooperation with Climalife Belgium. Authorisation and knowledge make all the difference.

In March 2010, the largest oil company in Hungary (refinery) issued a tender for retesting the butane/ propane storage tank in Algyő and replacing the refrigeration unit which cooled the storage tank. The customer tendering for the contract contacted Climalife for a proposal for disposing of the R-22 charge which shall be recovered from the system.
Authorised and certified to treat halogen fluids since the beginning of 2010, Climalife Hungary offers a more comprehensive service. In addition to the recycling of the waste, the solution encompasses the on-site draining/recovery, the provision of specialist materials and containers, the traceability of the fluid, its regeneration and competent staff for implementation.  The oil company accepted this environmentally-friendly solution and entrusted the customer to execute the project working jointly with Climalife.


The first stage involves taking a fluid sample from the installation to determine by chromatographic analysis if the R-22 was contaminated or not. Not all recovered fluid can be regenerated, everything depends on its composition. A mixture of more than one refrigerant means regeneration cannot be performed, disposal is necessary and destruction costs are higher, which is an economic issue when the quantities are large. The chromatographic analysis revealed that the fluid contained in the installation is solely R-22. In July 2010, the operation took place.


To carry out this operation, Climalife called upon its sister company in Belgium to provide a high-speed recovery machine, designed by their engineering department in order to meet the requirements of industrial companies. The quantity of fluid in the installation is difficult to determine accurately on this old system, 10 900 litre containers were then supplied to the site plus scales, a pneumatic pump, a mobile air compressor and industrial hoses.


Recovery starts under scorching heat (35°C). The Belgian/Hungarian collaborators - Freddy de Witte, Sándor Győri and László Juhász, recovered the R-22 refrigerant in the liquid phase using the pneumatic pump. Five containers were filled. They then recovered the rest of the product in the gaseous phase by increasing the pressure above the atmospheric pressure using this recovery machine.

Under this heat and despite the high power of the machine, the men from Climalife must also implement a shading and water spraying system for the containers to prevent an increase in pressure in the packages, which would prevent recovery. Two additional fluid containers were filled. Over two and a half days, more than 5 tonnes were recovered and transported by an approved hazardous waste transporter to Climalife's site in Kakucs.

The traceability of the waste is ensured by the Waste Tracking Document, a copy is sent to the transporter, to Climalife and returned after the fluid is treated at the oil company in compliance with the regulations.  The objective of dismantling the refrigeration installation without R-22 emissions was achieved.  The R-22 was regenerated as per good practice then returned to the market under the name R-22T.

A successful cooperation between the various participants who demonstrated their commitment to protecting the environment with the implementation of an optimum regeneration solution and without the disposal of the fluid as scheduled upstream of the project.