Starbucks, McDonald's and Red Bull say hydrocarbons set to displace HFCs in food service

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ATMOsphere America 2015, organised in Atlanta on 25-26 June saw a rising trend toward the use of hydrocarbon-based refrigeration in the food service industry. Industry giants McDonalds, Starbucks and Red Bull, together with system supplier True Manufacturing came together to flesh out what’s driving the market.

Naturals make long-term business sense

Nearly everyone recognises the iconic golden arches of a McDonald’s restaurant, though not all may realise what goes on behind the scenes of this family favourite. Roy Buchert,, McDonald’s Global Energy Director explained the company’s ambitious plans to reduce its environmental impact, including moving toward the use of natural refrigerants, which according to him, isn’t just the right thing to do for the environment. The decision also makes long-term business sense. The company is already scaling up its use of small refrigeration equipment (using 150g or less of R290) in Europe, which is proving 38% more energy efficient. The company is also pilot testing medium refrigeration systems (walk-ins, milkshake machines) using natural refrigerants in Europe and ultimately plans to use natural refrigerants even in large HVAC systems. In Denmark McDonald’s has even piloted an entirely HFC-free store. 

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