RED TEK® 12a Hydrocarbon Refrigerant
Replaces R-12 Substitutes, R-134a
301 12a 6 oz. Can (18 oz. equivalent)
302 12a 12 lb. Cylinder (36 lb. equivalent)
303 12a 20 lb. Cylinder (60 lb. equivalent)

Product Information Charging/Installation Guide
Material Safety Data Sheet Hydrocarbon Refrigerant Intro
Frequently Asked Questions Oil Selection Guide
Weight Equivalent Chart Elastomer Compatibility Guide
Vapor/Pressure Chart Packaging Available
Quick Reference Guide  

 6 oz. Can
(18 oz. equivalent)
12 lb. Cylinder
(36 lb. equivalent)
20 lb. Cylinder
(60 lb. equivalent)  


Hydrocarbon refrigerants are considered around the World to be superb professional refrigeration products and are widely used outside of North America in a full range of applications and systems. RED TEK® 12a is a highly refined Alkane / Hydrocarbon product, formulated and blended to replace R12 substitutes in existing installations with few, if any, modifications to an existing system. RED TEK® 12a has also been designed to replace over the next few years, the current OEM- R134a factory fill product.


RED TEK® 12a as indicated and classified as a HC, is a highly refined product with a boiling point of -34.7 degrees C, at atmospheric pressure, and designed, to be as close to the operating performance of R12 systems, but also in new systems as a direct replacement for R134a.

The density of RED TEK® 12a is significantly lower than R12. This, combined with the higher latent heat and thermal conductivity, has the desirable effects of reducing the weight of refrigerant required to extract a specified amount of heat. In practice, the required weight of RED TEK® 12a needed to give the same refrigeration capacity and performance as R12 or R134a, is 35% and 40% respectively. Significantly less by weight than either traditional products.

Although RED TEK® 12a is developed to give similar operating conditions and capacities as R12 and R134a, this product is an Alkane /Hydrocarbon and comes from the same hydrocarbon family as propane and butane. It is extremely important to know that; Commercial propane and butane must not be used in an air conditioning or refrigeration system. These fuel grade products contain high volatility and variable compositions and impurities. This will significantly reduce the reliability and performance, leading to premature failure and would result in:

  • Systems operating at different pressures and temperatures outside their capabilities, which will be detrimental to the system component performance and reliability.

  • Significantly lowers capacities and efficiencies will be noticed immediately.


Red Tek® 12a is a natural formulation of environmentally friendly Alkane products. They have a very short atmospheric lifetime-weeks and months vs 100's of years for CFC-R12. Once released into the atmosphere RED TEK® 12a breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. Although carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, it is a very weak one. The significant effect of carbon dioxide on global warming is due to very large quantities released through burning fossil fuels for power generation. The amount released by the use of Alkane / Hydrocarbon refrigerants would be an extremely low proportion of the overall global total.

RED TEK® 12a contains no chlorine or bromine and therefore has "NO" ozone depletion potential. Its global warming potential is related to the carbon dioxide produced when it breaks down in the atmosphere. When compared to R12 or R134a in the following "Greenpeace International" comparison table, the amount of carbon dioxide is insignificant.

Refrigerant RED TEK® 12a R12 R134a
Global warming potential (100 year basis) 8 7300 1200

RED TEK® 12a is considered one of the most environmentally friendly refrigerants available in the marketplace.


Alkane / Hydrocarbon refrigerants are extremely efficient and effective. RED TEK® 12a has been formulated and blended to give similar capacities as R12 and R134a, making it simple to use in existing R12 and R134a systems.

Many of the New Alternative refrigerants such as RED TEK® 12a are zeotropic blends, in other words, RED TEK® 12a does not behave like a single substance. This introduces some differences in application and use. In application terms, this mainly concerns temperature glide in evaporators and condensers.

RED TEK® 12a has been designed, formulated and blended to operate with similar system pressures as R12.

At evaporating conditions in the system, the pressure of RED TEK® 12a will be slightly higher than either R12 or R134a, and in condensing conditions, the pressure of RED TEK® 12a will be lower. RED TEK® 12a will therefore operate with a lower compression ratio, thus improving the operational characteristics of the compressor by significantly lowering high side compressor pressures.

The discharge temperature of RED TEK® 12a is similar to R12 and R134a at the same evaporating and condensing temperatures.

As with zeotropic formulations, RED TEK® 12a has a temperature glide. When reviewing the RED TEK® pressure / temperature charts, you will see the two temperatures (the bubble temperature and dew temperature) correspond to each pressure. The bubble temperature is the saturated liquid temperature (the temperature of the refrigerant when it is pure liquid, but not subcooled) and the dew temperature is the saturated vapor temperature (the temperature of the refrigerant when it is pure vapor, but not superheated).

When a refrigerant boils, the composition of the vapor may not be the same as the liquid. The vapour could be richer in the component with the lower boiling temperature.

At the inlet of the evaporator, the temperature of the refrigerant will be higher than the bubble point because some of the refrigerant will already have flashed off during expansion.

As the refrigerant flows through the evaporator, its boiling point rises as the composition of the liquid phase changes. The evaporating temperature will therefore increase as the refrigerant flows through the evaporator and more of the refrigerant evaporates.

This is known as the temperature glide. In practice it will not be as much as indicated by the difference in the bubble and dew temperatures on the charts, and is in the line with other refrigerant blends currently available throughout the Industry.

The same effect occurs in the condenser. In this case, the condensing temperature will decrease through the condenser. There are other effects regarding temperature glide which apply to all zeotopic blends.

  • Build up on evaporator may be uneven due to the change in evaporating temperature
    through the evaporator.

  • Where a thermostatic expansion valve is used, slight adjustments will ensure the refrigerant is superheated vapor when it leaves the evaporator.

  • The composition of the blend may be different in the vapor state. The refrigerant
    should therefore always be charged as a liquid through the low side service fitting.

RED TEK® 12a has a lower density (but higher latent heat per unit weight and better thermal conductivity) than R12. In practice this means the charge required in weight terms, is lower than for R12 and R134a to give the same volumetric flow rate and the same capacity.

The charge for RED TEK® 12a is 35% of that required for R12 by weight, and 40% of that required for R134a by weight. Significantly less product is used to complete the same function.


RED TEK® 12a is compatible will R12 or R134a systems including:

  • Metal components.

  • Mineral and Synthetic (Ester and PAG) lubricants.

  • Compressor motor materials

  • Seals, gaskets and o-ring materials.

Note: RED TEK® Refrigerants and R 12 Mineral Oil are not compatible with Butyl Rubber Hoses.


Material Safety Data Sheets are available and provided on all RED TEK® refrigerants. There is no occupational exposure limit (OEL) for hydrocarbon refrigerants and therefore none for RED TEK® 12a.

  • HC's are considered flammable gases, in concentrations of 1.9% and 8.5% of the total
    amount of air volume contained in a sealed or enclosed space.

    Due to the smaller amounts of Alkane refrigerants required in an air conditioning system, this is not a relevant issue and has been addressed through a number of extensive liability risk assessments carried out on these products. It is important to know, that outside of the North American marketplace, Hydrocarbon refrigerants make up approximately 50% of the refrigerant used throughout the World. And, as of this date, there has not been one recorded incident anywhere on the Globe, in the past century, where Alkane / Hydrocarbon refrigerants have caused or been involved in a fire or explosion in mobile or stationary air conditioning systems.

  • Contact with liquid refrigerant will cause freeze burn (similar to frost bite), which should be treated by washing the area with cold or tepid water. Medical attention may be necessary.

  • RED TEK® 12a is heavier than air and will therefore tend to collect in pits, trenches,
    basements, well type display cases / chest freezers. Such areas should be ventilated to disperse vapor.


Thermofluid Technologies, Inc.,
3031 Topside Business Park Dr., Louisville, TN USA 37777
Tel: 1-888-676-9380 Fax: 865-983-0068