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Thread: Looking for Refrigerant Grade R600a in USA

  1. #1
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    Looking for Refrigerant Grade R600a in USA

    Hi everyone,

    I am in need of a small quantity (5 lbs or less) of Refrigerant Grade R600a (isobutane), and have been searching for several days to find it available in a small disposable cylinder heare in the United States. Obviously I haven't had any luck doing so.

    If I lived in Europe this would be a no brainier.

    So does anyone kwow of a good source here in the US?
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  2. #2
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    Matheson Trigas, but they are jerks and have constant billing issues that they'll blame on you. If it's a disposable though, then no rent.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  3. #3
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    Hi Michael,

    I bought iso-butane from Matheson, but I wish I hadn't. They are just the middle-man and marked up the price significantly. I would try this source next (have never used them but they carry small cylinders.

    http://www.advgas.com/readyshippurities.aspx
    http://www.advgas.com/readyshipcontainers.aspx

    Kevin

  4. #4
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    I just sent off an inquiry to Advanced Gas Technologies and I'll be sure to post how this all goes. Thanks for the link Kevin.

    I know about the middle man factor with the normal gas suppliers in my area, as well as the problem with getting very small sample amounts. Even when dealing with large amounts of refrigerants you really have to be careful. As an example one distributor I got a quote from had R14 going for $40/lb whereas another one had it at $18/lb. This was in a 70lb cylinder in both cases. Go figure?
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  5. #5
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    Well I got a quote for the smallest amount...

    Isobutane grade 2.5 (R600A) 5lbs $75.00
    Fuel surcharge: $19.95
    Hazmat fee: $14.95
    Invoice Fee $3.00
    Shipping from Palm, PA to CA $160.00
    Plus State Sales Tax (if applicable)

    Lead Time: 5 weeks

    Cylinder rental: Approximately $0.76/day
    Or you can purchase the cylinder (does not include gas) $140.00

    So it looks like it would be $272 not counting the tank rental or purchase. Obviously the tank rental is out of the question because you'd have to pay return shipping as well. So purchasing the tank would make the most sense.

    Grand total would be $412 or in other words $82/lb

    Pretty much blew me away! I've asked if they have disposable cylinders, but at this point I seriously doubt I'll be going this route.

    The sad thing is I only need about 2-3 ounces for a couple of tests. Heck 1lb would be way more than enough.
    Last edited by mytekcontrols; 04-16-2012 at 05:09 PM.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  6. #6
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    I'm not that far from Palm, PA
    I emailed them for a quote as well. If its a tiny 7lb tank we could arrange a better shipping situation.
    Did you ask about larger quantities? The price per scaling at least with Matheson was often that a small cylinder was 5x the price of a larger one. I bought 20lbs of r1150 for the price they quoted me for 5lbs.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00b 0f l337 View Post
    I'm not that far from Palm, PA
    I emailed them for a quote as well. If its a tiny 7lb tank we could arrange a better shipping situation.
    Did you ask about larger quantities? The price per scaling at least with Matheson was often that a small cylinder was 5x the price of a larger one. I bought 20lbs of r1150 for the price they quoted me for 5lbs.
    I really don't want a huge amount on hand, and as I said, all I need is a pound or less for prototype testing. So if you plan on buying some anyway, perhaps you can fill up something like an accumulator with a schrader valve on it and PM me a price.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  8. #8
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    Wow Michael, sorry about all the add on fees. I bought 15-lbs of iso-butane from Matheson and it cost me $495. I also bought 5-gallons of iso-pentane from South Hampton (in Texas). The product cost $110, but the shipping was $140! It really sucks when it costs more to ship something than what you are buying.

    Kevin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hotton View Post
    It really sucks when it costs more to ship something than what you are buying.

    Kevin
    Yeah tell me about it
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  10. #10
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    I'll see if I can do pickup.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  11. #11
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    Just for grins I decided to check the UK, and here is what I found...

    A place called DIYTools.co.uk located in Liverpool England.

    refrigerant-gas-r600a.jpg

    They sell 420 Gram disposable cans of R600A refrigerant for 14.39 GBP (22.86 USD), and will ship to the United States as well as other countries. After adding in the shipping, the total cost to my location in California was 34 USD (seems too good to be true). So I ordered 1 bottle which will give me about 10 charges for my application.

    When I get a tracking number, I'll find out how long it'll take to get here (can't be much worse than that other place I got a quote from). I'll be the guinea pig on this one, to see if this actually happens or not.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  12. #12
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    Heh I've seen those; but was trying to avoid international shipping on a flammable. I guess it will depend on what topper is on the can.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00b 0f l337 View Post
    Heh I've seen those; but was trying to avoid international shipping on a flammable. I guess it will depend on what topper is on the can.
    Well like I said, after I entered my address and entered United States from the drop-down selection box, my total came to $34 including shipping. Then I selected PayPal as my payment method, and everything went through without a hitch. So I guess I'll see if this really happens without getting kicked back.

    The top appears to be made just like an R134a can, and apparently uses the same tap valve (they sell this as well, and from what I could see in the picture, it looks the same as a tap valve I use).
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  14. #14
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    Can that be purged and such to maintain purity? Those style toppers and such just seem to scare me.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00b 0f l337 View Post
    Can that be purged and such to maintain purity? Those style toppers and such just seem to scare me.
    Yep I know what you mean. So I'll be transferring it immediately to another tank with a good valve on it.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  16. #16
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    @mytekcontrols, Over the last year or so i've ordered 3 cans from DIYtools. Yes i am in the UK, but had no probs with delivery or the valve either.
    Would be interesting to see how it works out from them from your side of the "Pond".
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitfit1 View Post
    @mytekcontrols, Over the last year or so i've ordered 3 cans from DIYtools. Yes i am in the UK, but had no probs with delivery or the valve either.
    Would be interesting to see how it works out from them from your side of the "Pond".
    Thanks for the heads up. Good to hear that they are a reputable company.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  18. #18
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    Ugh crap.
    AVgas is Matheson in another name.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  19. #19
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    Well the DIYTools transaction just cleared my PayPal account yesterday, 10 days after my initial on-line order was submitted. So I guess that means the R600a is on it's way without any last minute price changes. Now I'm just wondering how long it'll be to get from there to here.

    I can hardly wait
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  20. #20
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    Well I knew it was too good to be true. Today DIYTools did a full refund to my PayPal account, with no explanation given. I'm thankful that I didn't loose the money, but sad that I am once again left looking for an inexpensive source for R600a.

    So the search goes on.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  21. #21
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    Hi Michael,

    Sorry to hear they cancelled your R600a order. My experience has been this: I first bought 15-lbs of "instrument grade" 99.5% purity from Matheson for $495 (I get to keep the cylinder). I am now trying AirGas. They have quoted $280 for the same amount and grade. I have ordered it and should receive it in a couple weeks.

    Kevin

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hotton View Post
    Hi Michael,

    Sorry to hear they cancelled your R600a order. My experience has been this: I first bought 15-lbs of "instrument grade" 99.5% purity from Matheson for $495 (I get to keep the cylinder). I am now trying AirGas. They have quoted $280 for the same amount and grade. I have ordered it and should receive it in a couple weeks.

    Kevin
    $280 for 15-lbs ($18.66/lb) sounds fairly reasonable. Does the AirGas price include the cylinder, or are you renting it?
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

  23. #23
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    Renting I believe, but is normally very cheap and reasonable thru AirGas vs Matheson.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  24. #24
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    2008 price national welders:
    17lbs instrument grade +tank= $365
    Item number O82542

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultralo1 View Post
    2008 price national welders:
    17lbs instrument grade +tank= $365
    Item number O82542
    Thank you Britt

    I am also pursuing some of those other leads you gave me by PM... Scott Medical Gases did not have iso-Butane, but they do have High Purity Propane available in 14 Oz quantities (have to call for pricing). Aldrich Chemistry has it by the name 2-Methylpropane in 100 Gram (SKU 295450-100G) and 350 Gram (SKU 295450-350G) amounts, for $110.00 and $143.50 respectively, both shipping from Milwaukee. And last but not least, I have requested a quote from United Refrigeration who are a distributer for National Refrigerants, and they have P/N 016R600A listed as 16 Oz. R600a.

    Until I hear back from United Refrigeration, Aldrich looks pretty good for my small quantity requirement. Their 350 gram option would provide me with enough to do just over 15 CryoBUG test charges (more than enough for my proof of concept needs).

    I'll keep you guys posted as to what I decide to do, and with any other sources and pricing I find.

    Edit: Price update. If I order 350 grams of R600a from Aldrich using FedEx ground, the total cost comes out to $186.00 (includes Hazard fee, shipping, and CA sales tax). It appears that the order can be placed by registering at their site, answering a bunch of questions, and then submitting an online order. First time may take several days to be approved based on the information you submitted during the registration process.
    Last edited by mytekcontrols; 05-11-2012 at 06:15 PM.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

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