When it comes to the vending machine sector, the market for CO2 machines is still in its infancy, with only a handful of manufacturers offering R744 versions, including SandenVendo, Sielaff and Crane Merchandising. With R404A and R134a banned by the new EU F-Gas Regulation in vending machines in 2020 and 2022 respectively, exhibitors at VendItalia, held from 3-6 May in Milan, Italy, whilst in no rush to switch to natural refrigerants, planned to invest in CO2.
Germany is one of our biggest growth markets for CO2 vending machines, where we are receiving requests for environmentally friendly solutions,” said Yoshito Takeuchi. “Those operators that want to distinguish themselves or stay ahead of the regulations are also making enquiries about CO2.”
A vending machine is a five-year, sometimes up to a ten-year investment. Operators have to get used to new technology, but for CO2 vending machines to take off will depend on how much we can reduce the cost,” explained Takeuchi.
The vending sector has always been very proactive. When R12 was going to be banned we had already made the switch to R22. When R22 was to be banned we made the switch to R134a, but the problem now is that there is no simple substitution. We do not believe that R1234yf or R1234ze are substitutes. The only real alternative is CO2.”