Flammable refrigerant alert

Petroleum and gas safety alert no. 11 | 04 March 2003 | Version 1

What happened?

The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate has been advised that attempts may be made to sell refined LPG for use in automotive air-conditioning in Queensland.

These refrigerants are normally sold in aerosol type cans and may contain the words hydrocarbon refrigerant, propane or butane. Some vehicles from interstate may be fitted with these refrigerants.

Key issues

  • The use of flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants in automotive applications is currently not permitted in Queensland.
  • LP gas is a highly flammable product and can lead to fire or explosion when as little as 2% is mixed with air.
  • Repairers of air-conditioning systems from other States must take care to ensure their personal safety.


  • Do not use these refrigerants in any vehicles repaired or serviced in Queensland. Note that no new vehicles are fitted with these refrigerants.
  • If servicing an interstate vehicle, shut down all sources of ignition in a 3 metre radius around the vehicle. Under no circumstances use a flame unless the system is emptied and purged. Replace with non-flammable refrigerant.
  • Report any instances of this product being sold or used to a Petroleum and Gas Inspector.

Authorised by John Fleming - Chief Inspector, Petroleum and Gas
Contact: , Chief Inspector, Petroleum and Gas gassafe@dnrm.qld.gov.au

Issued by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines

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