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  1. #1

    Confused R134a Sample Recovery/Disposal?

    Hello, I work for an environmental lab in the Bay Area, which recently began testing of R134a samples in sealed 1L bags, collected from field sampling of refrigeration units. We are relatively new to this procedure and currently searching for a method of recovery or disposal that is acceptable and in compliance with EPA Section 608 concerning refrigerant recycling. Considering that 134a's liquid to gas expansion ratio is 1:228, each 1L sample should contain ~4mL of refrigerant. This small amount at ~1atm pressure, does not seem to be practically recoverable by most available recovery equipment. Our local recovery service company will pick up refrigerant "from [our] cylinders" but that is the entire issue at hand, how to recover the samples in an environmentally friendly manner into a container that a recycling company will retrieve. Any information on available procedures, ideas or a company/individual capable of or willing to recover, collect and/or dispose of these samples would be much appreciated. Please see image below for an idea on the 1L sample container.

    Thank You For Your Input

    http://i.imgur.com/E8vTnpK.jpg

  2. #2
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    I would ask the epa. It sounds like a very small release.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  3. #3
    Yes, although I believe "de minimis" is very open to interpretation and 134a is not a known stratospheric ozone-depleting substance; we anticipate a high sample flow eventually adding up to 100's? 1,000's? mL refrigerant/mo. Perhaps this is still considered "de minimis" considering the conditions & situation, our goal is to minimize environmental impact and comply with EPA regulations in a timely and efficient manner. The EPA's reputation for lucidity precedes them... it's not a typical situation but I hold out hope of a little gem of insight from the members here

  4. #4
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    Are those samples of R134a in a vapor, or gas? Otherwise, those bags would need to withstand pressures of over 100 PSIG, if in liquid form.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Create a very large capture bag that you can easily release the small sample bags into, and once a year (or sooner) use conventional equipment to evacuate the bag and condense the refrigerant, saving it in tanks.

    It will take a LONG time to fill a large bag (hundreds of cubic feet) with 1L bags.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Atlanta,GA.
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    897
    under the epa rules since you are not using it for refrigeration purposes you can just release it , as an example all those cans that dust off your computer that you buy from office depot are 134a,just read the msds on it it gives you the chemical makeup but because you are not using it as a refrigerant you can let it go.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chillerout1 View Post
    under the epa rules since you are not using it for refrigeration purposes you can just release it , as an example all those cans that dust off your computer that you buy from office depot are 134a,just read the msds on it it gives you the chemical makeup but because you are not using it as a refrigerant you can let it go.
    Those are all excellent points; from a moral, environmental and legal perspective! Thank you for your insight.

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