From the April 2002 Idaho Observer:

The age of hydrocarbon refrigerants has arrived

Intelligent, natural solution to global dilemma will reduce energy costs to consumers, lighten the poison load on our increasingly toxic planet and open new marketplace frontier

OZ Technology hydrocarbon blend patent granted in U.S.

RATHDRUM -- After nearly 10 years of examination by the U.S. Patent Office, OZ Technology was granted the patent for refrigerant mixtures of hydrocarbons (HCs) January 8, 2002.

“HC blend patent approval is a sign that the U.S. is finally recognizing that natural, non-toxic earth-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerant blends are the most logical alternatives for refrigerants such as R-12 and HFC-134a,” commented OZ CEO Gary Lindgren.

R-12, commonly known as Freon, was banned in the U.S. by international treaty in 1996 for its link to stratospheric ozone depletion. HFC-134a, a greenhouse gas that was internationally embraced as the temporary answer to the Freon ban, was demonstrated by scientists at Wright Patterson AFB in 1998 to be toxic to humans.

Recognizing that the pending Freon ban would create a worldwide demand for non-ozone depleting refrigerants, Lindgren began experimenting with HC blends. Having successfully blended HCs to resolve the environmental problems created by Freon, Lindgren filed for a patent on his HC blend refrigerants in September, 1992. Though Lindgren and his company OZ Technology believed that they had solved the international refrigeration dilemma with HC blends, they encountered regulatory obstacles. “We were just ahead of our time. The world is finally catching onto the many benefits of hydrocarbon blend refrigerants,” said Lindgren.

OZ HC blend refrigerant HC-12a, which is compatible with refrigeration and A/C systems designed to accommodate R-12 and HFC-134a, is considered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be a non-ozone-depleting “second generation replacement.” According to the EPA, it is legal to replace a non-ozone depleting first generation alternative refrigerant such as HFC-134a with a non-ozone depleting second generation replacement such as HC-12a manufactured by OZ.

OZ has also been granted patents in the United Kingdom, China and Mexico.

For more information contact OZ Technology, (208) 687-7000.


Goodbye CFCs, HFCs and HCFCs

Hello organic, non-toxic, earth friendly HC blends

RATHDRUM -- Compressor and appliance manufacturers all over the world are beginning to market lines of products designed to accommodate hydrocarbon (HC) blend refrigerants. HC blends are thermally efficient, non-toxic and environmentally friendly where their synthetic counterparts are less efficient, toxic to people and damaging to the environment.

HCs are the class of naturally-occurring substances that include propane, pentane and butane.

The Freon-dependent world was thrust into a dilemma in 1996 when production of the world's most commonly used refrigerant was banned in developed countries for its link to stratospheric ozone depletion. The immediate answer to the international refrigeration dilemma was to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) with HFC-134a -- a greenhouse gas.

It turns out that HFC-134a's potential for causing environmental damage is just the beginning of its inadequacy as a replacement for Freon. Field experience has shown it to be thermally inefficient, energy consumptive and corrosive to compressor parts. A 1998 study conducted at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio found that HFC-134a can be deathly toxic to humans who inhale it at levels at or above 4 parts per million.

Just as the phase out of ozone depleting substances was scheduled in 1987 by an international agreement called the Montreal Protocol, the phase out of greenhouse gases was scheduled at a 1998 environmental conference in Kyoto, Japan. Though the U.S. did not sign the Kyoto Accord, nations from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia did. As a result, use of refrigeration systems and air conditioners that contain environmentally damaging refrigerant gases is being discouraged in many countries. In response to support from their governments and to meet demands for environmentally sound cooling and refrigeration, industry in those countries is retooling to accommodate HC blend refrigerants.

Greenpeace International, which has strongly advocated the use of HC blend refrigerants for over a decade, has compiled a list of manufacturers worldwide that are currently producing or plan to produce appliances designed to accommodate HC blend refrigerants. Unilever, Coca-Cola, DeLonghi, Matsushita, Sanyo, Bosch/Siemens and Electrolux are just a few of the most well known companies that will market product lines that use HC blend refrigerants.

“Hitachi has also announced that it will be selling hydrocarbon refrigerators in Japan in 2002, and it is expected that other major Japanese producers will follow suit in the near future,” said Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace list also names numerous universities, office complexes, hospitals, supermarket chains and businesses worldwide that have converted to HC blend cooling and refrigeration.

U.S. policy with regard to refrigerants and refrigeration is lagging behind the rest of the world. This is largely due to political pressure from a variety of pro-HFC groups that are closely linked to the company that held the original patent for Freon and currently holds the patent for HFC-134a -- Dupont. However, as Greenpeace observed, Japanese products are readily available to U.S. consumers and it is only a matter of time before Hitachi HC blend refrigerators are marketed in the states.

Domestically produced HFC-134a cooling and refrigeration systems will be forced to compete with their more efficient, organic and non-toxic HC blend import counterparts. At that time American compressor and appliance manufacturers will have little choice but to follow the environmentally responsible lead that has been taken by the international refrigeration industry.

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Hari Heath

Vaccination Liberation -

Those of you who have been with The IO since 1997 may recall the saga of hydrocarbon (HC) blend refrigerant developer Gary Lindgren and his company OZ Technology from Rathdrum. Lindgren redefined the term “American ingenuity” when he discovered how to improve upon Freon by blending natural, non-toxic hydrocarbons four years before the 1996 Freon ban.

Freon, a chlorofluorcarbon (CFC) patented by Dupont, was linked to stratospheric ozone depletion. The phaseout of the world's most commonly used refrigerant was scheduled in 1987 by international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol to reduce worldwide emmissions of ozone depleting substances.

International treaties and international politics are best described as shark infested waters where governments and multinational corporations battle for territorial and marketplace supremacy. OZ Technology, a small north Idaho company, was formed in 1992 to provide the world with an intelligent, natural solution to what was then a 4-year pending global refrigerantion dilemma.

OZ had no idea the ferocity of sharks that would be opposed to HC refrigerants because they had already chosen a successor to Freon -- HFC-134a. Also patented by Dupont, HFC-134a was not only corrosive to refrigeration system components and less thermally efficient than Freon, it was recognized by the international environmental community as a greenhouse gas.

OZ fought dilligently to gain regulatory acceptance of its refrigerants. The only argument against its products HC-12a and HC-22a were their flammability, particularly in automotive air conditioning. Not only was it silly to argue flammability of a few ounces of refrigerant when cars commonly carry 20 gallons of gasoline, science and field experience have proved that use of HC refrigerants in cars or elsewhere complies with accepted safety standards.

Regardless, by 1998 OZ had been regulated into near oblivion. But a few things happened on the way to the burial of another valuable breakthrough...

Looking for a few good men

If it were not for Gary Lindgren, a first edition of The IO would never have been published. OZ provided the seed capital that gave birth to this newspaper.

By fall, 1998, OZ, a company that had the answer to a world wide dilemma, had been all but totally devastated by a multitude of public and private entities. The OZ story, which is not without conspiratorial overtones, can be found on The IO website at

But that was then. This is now. The thermal, mechanical, environmental and medical inadequacies of corporate and government's HFC-134a answer to the Freon ban had been determined by published science by 1996. Those inadequacies have been reproved over and over again in the field ever since.

The only argument against HC blend refrigerants, the flammability issue, has proven to be a non-argument. Plus, the international community, as well as Greenpeace and the UN, are advocating the use of HC blend refrigerants in all applications. This in response to the Kyoto agreement which scheduled the phaseout of greenhouse gases as the Monteal Protocol scheduled the phaseout of ozone-depleting chemicals. The U.S. is not a signatory of the Kyoto agreement, probably because of HFC-134a.

This last fall, a deal that had been in the works for a long time bore international fruit and gave OZ a fiscal shot in the arm. Then, on January 8, 2002, OZ received its patent. It's a whole new ballgame now. The last time such an opportunity came along Freon was just hitting the market. OZ has seasoned reps by region who need distributors. If you are honorable, have a working knowledge of refrigeration and want to get in on the opportunity of a life time, call OZ Technology at (208) 687-7000.

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