Mayekawa, a leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial refrigeration systems works with the “natural five” refrigerants, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrocarbons, water and air, depending on the needs an installation should fulfil. At ATMOsphere Asia 2015, Nobuya Ishitsuka of Mayekawa presented the company’s 54 installations using air as the refrigerant in the Pascal Air systems. 

Ishitsuka explained that Mayekawa’s Pascal Air refrigeration system for low temperature warehouses is highly flexible, with a wide range of temperature control, even as low as -120°C. Air’s qualities as a refrigerant, such as its zero ozone depletion potential and global warming potential, and its non-flammable nature make it, as Ishitsuka called it, the “ultimate natural refrigerant”. The Pascal Air uses an open cycle, and in the incident of a leak, there would be no damage or threat to safety. 

Because there are no air coolers in the system, the Pascal Air is compact. In addition, the system is a suitable replacement for ultra low temperature R23 cascade refrigeration systems, as well as for liquid nitrogen refrigeration. The system uses an integrated turbo compressor expander, wherein the compressor and expander are connected in the same shaft with a motor in between, and is able to save 25% energy in comparison with a conventional system because there is no defrost required.

Mayekawa has installed 54 units of the Pascal Air in a number of applications, including ultra-low temperature warehouses, rapid food freezing systems, and in the chemical process cooling industry. Ishitsuka noted that currently, ultra-low temperature warehouses represent the greatest area of demand for the Pascal Air, though, in the future, the company will expand to other application areas such as vacuum freeze drying, semiconductor manufacturing, and low temperature milling, among others. 

Pascal Air – “This is it”

At Sea Sky Global’s state-of-the-art tuna processing plant, located in Busan, South Korea, there are three Mayekawa Pascal Air units installed to keep the company’s 2,500 tonnes of raw tuna and processed products fresh.

Dong Gyu Kim explained that Sea Sky Global takes pride in providing safe and high quality food, describing the tuna selection and management processes as meticulous. Naturally, then, the company would choose a refrigeration system that could meet the high standards for fresh tuna storage. 

“When I saw the Pascal Air for the first time, my gut feeling said, ‘This is it.’”

Kim said he was confident the Pascal Air was the ideal solution to ensure fresh tuna storage, calling it “environmentally friendly, futuristic, ultra low temperature storage”.  

A major benefit of the system is that it contributes to the reduction of costs; Kim stated the system has reduced electricity usage by 40%. There is no need for defrost, Kim explained, so there is little variation in temperature, ensuring products remain fresh. In addition, because air is a harmless gas, there is no need to hire a safety manager, which reduces labour costs. 


ATMOsphere Asia 2015 event page
Dong Gyu Kim: Introduction of Pascal Air refrigeration system to state-of-the-art tuna processing plant
Nobuya Ishitsuka: Air refrigeration system “Pascal Air”

Author Elke Milner