“… In a statement following a test at Mercedes’ HQ in Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart, Walter Pütz, director of vehicle certification and regulatory affairs at Mercedes-Benz Cars said: “the whole vehicle can catch fire and the burning refrigerant [R1234yf] generates acutely poisonous hydrogen fluoride which poses a severe danger to both passengers and rescue workers.”…
Mercedes in war of words with EU over air-con chemicals. The Irish Times, July 10, 2013
USA: Honeywell has entered into a supply and technology license agreement with Navin Fluorine International (NFIL) to produce the refrigerant R1234yf in India.
Small-scale production is expected to begin by the end of this year at Navin Fluorine’s manufacturing plant at Surat, Gujarat, Western India.
Worldwide demand is growing for the refrigerant which is set to replace R134a in vehicle air conditioning systems. Honeywell and its key suppliers are investing approximately $300m to increase global production capacity for R1234yf, including the construction of a new, world-scale manufacturing plant at the company’s existing Geismar, Louisiana, refrigerants manufacturing site. Honeywell’s refrigerant is marketed as Solstice yf.
There are reportedly already more than 8 million cars currently on the road using R1234yf and that number is predicted to grow to more than 18 million cars by the end of 2016.
“This agreement reflects our commitment to delivering the supply chain reliability and security that customers can rely upon as they transition to next-generation products that are safe to use, available today and capable of making a significant positive environmental impact,” said Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Fluorine Products. “Honeywell’s supply agreement with NFIL, one of India’s largest manufacturers of specialty fluorochemicals, represents a first step in our commercial relationship that will help us to meet growing global demand for Solstice yf,” he added.
With its GWP of 1300, R134a has been banned in new cars under the European MAC directive which requires the use of a refrigerant with a GWP below 150. R1234f is currently the only viable option.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has also approved R1234yf to replace R134a which is banned in mobile air conditioning systems in new passenger cars and light-duty trucks starting in model year 2021.
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