IIAR’s Foundation Focuses on its Three Pillars, Prepares to Change Name

The foundation focuses on three pillars—research, educational training, and educational scholarships—and has had a successful year supporting each of these areas. During IIAR’s annual meeting and expo, Dave Schaefer, chairman of the Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation, provided an update on the foundation’s accomplishments.


The foundation moved forward on three research projects: a guide to estimating ammonia releases, machinery room ventilation and CFD study, and a design basis to avoid hydraulic shock. Their accomplishments were presented during the conference.


This year, the foundation offered its largest scholarship commitment to date. In addition to an existing $10,000 scholarship commitment to a returning senior in the scholarship program, the foundation added eight new scholarship recipients with a financial commitment of $5,000 each, for five juniors and three seniors. Seven of the nine 2021-2022 Scholars attended the conference. “I think they had a great time and met a lot of contacts. Some had job interviews. It really was well received and worked out well,” Schaefer said.


The foundation is changing its name. “While we believe the name, ARF, Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation, may be widely known in our industry, we would like to see it gain broader support outside our industry, through recognition of our foundation’s mission to advocate for all natural refrigerants and their use in refrigeration systems,” Schaefer said.

During the January 2022 ARF and IIAR board meetings, both boards voted unanimously to change the name to Natural Refrigeration Foundation, NRF. Schaefer said the name change will broaden the foundation’s outreach to many other organizations interested in environmental friendliness and sustainability, which can be brought about through the increased use of natural refrigerants.

“Increased outreach, hopefully, results in increased funding, allowing us to increase scholarships bringing more new employees to our natural refrigeration industry, expand research resulting in better tools and safety practices for the application of natural refrigerants, and expand educational programs creating more experts in natural refrigeration,” Schaefer said.

Additionally, future boards may also decide to create learning centers that will offer training opportunities to further support that ammonia and the natural refrigerants are superior to the man-made synthetic refrigerants, Schaefer explained.


Schaefer said the foundation will continue to focus on research and education as well as funding. One of the big initiatives next year will be how the industry responds to the AIM Act. “Getting the word out that we can help with any of the natural refrigerants will be a big deal,” Schaefer said. Schaefer also thanked all of those who support the foundation, including both boards, the chair of the education committee, Mark Stencel, and the research committee, Wayne Wehber, who stayed on an extra year as research chair. He also recognized the scholarship committee, Bob Port, trustees, individual contributors, and the Kahlert Foundation.