The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration 2023 Annual Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo in Long Beach, California. The event provided four days of technical knowledge, networking, and industry-sponsored events for those involved in the natural refrigeration industry. Roughly 1,700 attendees took part in the show and IIAR set a new record with its exhibit space.

“There were a lot of manufacturers that had new things to show, especially with the push to phase down HFCs and expand the use of natural refrigerants,” said Gary Schrift, IIAR’s president.

Schrift said the AIM Act in the U.S., state action on HFC phasedowns and EU legislation to control F-gases are driving increased interest in natural refrigerants.


The meeting featured several learning opportunities, including technical paper presentations and technomercials. Schrift said the lineup of educational workshops was a highlight, and IIAR expanded on its technical workshop offerings by adding a panel on diversity, the technician shortage, and the AIM Act. “These had a broader appeal that attracted a lot of attendees,” he said, adding that IIAR recorded several sessions, and the recordings will be available on the association’s website.


During the business meeting, Schrift provided an update on all IIAR has accomplished in the past year. “We continue to benefit and grow our global community with our advocacy, education, and standards for the safe and sustainable use of natural refrigerant systems,” he said.

IIAR recently completed its first fiscal year with its new membership program, and membership has grown more than 14% to 3,194 members. Members have been granted free access to all of IIAR’s standards via the association’s digital publications provider and eReader service. Use of IIAR’s online Academy and video series classes has increased dramatically as has monthly webinar attendance.

Schrift said IIAR’s work with allied associations is resulting in significant results, including IIAR standards being adopted in Costa Rica along with the association’s online training programs being used for their engineering certification program. IIAR is also publishing a new online Spanish version of the Condenser magazine called the Condenser Select and has helped create a stronger Safety Coalition with ASTI, RETA, and GCCA.


Attendees were able to take part in several networking opportunities, including a reception on Sunday night and a “Block Party” on Monday night. “The Chairman’s Reception on Sunday was packed and so was the Monday night event,” Schrift said.

The conference also featured the Annual William E. Kahlert Golf Tournament to support the Natural Refrigeration Foundation (Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation) and the Founders’ Scholarship Fund and the foundation’s first-ever pickleball and cornhole tournament. “People want to do it again next year,” Schrift said.