USA: ASHRAE is offering a grant of around $95,000 to look into the effects of methyl chloride on refrigeration system components and to establish safe contaminant levels.
The proposed ASHRAE Research Project comes after a number of well documented incidents including explosions and deaths attributed to R134a systems becoming contaminated with methyl chloride (R40).
One of the main objectives of the research will be to come up with an accelerated life testing plan and test methodology to determine the effects of R40 on different materials with neat refrigerant and combinations of refrigerant and lubricant. It is proposed that R40 contamination be evaluated at two concentrations in R134a, with tests being carried out on both vapour and liquid phases. In addition methodologies will be drawn up to investigate all potential reaction products.
The research will also identify ways to handle, neutralise and dispose of contaminated systems.
Further information from www.ashrae.org/standards-research--technology/research