Recovery, Recycling, and Reclamation

One of the requirements mandated by the EPA is that refrigerant removed from existing systems must be captured, and when possible, reused. This requirement has created new terminology that needs to be defined and clarified before we go any further.

Recovery means to capture refrigerant in a sealed container as it is removed from the system. Recovery does not imply anything about the quality or reuse potential of the refrigerant.

Recycle means to process refrigerant through a cleaning and decontamination process so that it is suitable for reuse in the same system or another system with the same owner. This does not imply that it meets the cleanliness specifications for new refrigerants.

Reclamation means a refrigerant is “reclaimed” so it meets the new refrigerant specifications for purity. Reclamation is generally considered as being a factory process, rather than a field process. Recovery and recycling are considered field activities.

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