News 08 Dec, 2011

Testing of Refrigerant Gas to Detect Chlorine Contamination

Following the Club’s news article Explosions involving Refrigerated Containers Serviced in Vietnam advising that a number of refrigerated containers have exploded due to the use of contaminated refrigerant gas containing chlorine, Cambridge Refrigeration Technology have now published a Guide to Flame Testing R-134a for Chlorine Contamination.

As the source of the contaminated refrigerant gas has not yet been determined, Members are advised to ensure that stocks of R-134a on their vessels, and subsequently delivered on board, are tested for chlorine contamination at the earliest opportunity. Vessels should ensure that the safety precautions set out in the Guide are followed. If gas containing chlorine is found, the gas cylinder must be removed from service, isolated and clearly marked that it is contaminated and not to be used. The contaminated gas cylinders should then be landed ashore for further testing and disposal in line with the applicable environmental legislation in that country.

This testing procedure is purely for the testing of gas bottles and must not be adapted to test whether the gas charge in a refrigerated container is contaminated with chlorine.

Members requiring further guidance are advised to contact the Loss Prevention department.