Honeywell, DuPont To Manufacture Enviro-Friendly Refrigerant

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) and DuPont (NYSE:DD) today announced a manufacturing joint venture to produce a new refrigerant for use in automotive air conditioning systems. The new refrigerant has 99.7% lower global warming potential (GWP) than the current refrigerant, the companies said in a release.

DuPont and Honeywell will share financial and technological resources to jointly design, construct and operate a "world-scale" manufacturing facility for the new refrigerant, known as HFO-1234yf. 

The companies did not say where the facility will be located.

The product meets European Union regulatory requirements for lower GWP refrigerants for automobile air conditioning systems. DuPont and Honeywell developed the product jointly but will market and sell it separately.

Gary W. Spitzer, president of DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts said the new refrigerant enables the automotive industry to reduce the environmental footprint of vehicles at significantly lower cost than alternatives.

Today’s automotive air conditioners use hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a,
which has a GWP of 1430. The European Union’s Mobile Air Conditioning
Directive requires that, starting in 2011, all new vehicle models use a
refrigerant with a GWP below 150, and by 2017, all new automobiles sold
in Europe will be required to use a low-GWP refrigerant. The new
refrigerant, developed by DuPont and Honeywell, has a GWP of 4, which is
97% less GWP than the new regulation requires.

Prior to construction of a world-scale plant, the joint venture will begin supplying the refrigerant in 4Q11 in time to meet the European Union regulatory requirement.

Honeywell and DuPont introduced HFO-1234yf to the automotive industry in 2007, and since then, it has undergone testing for safety and efficacy by independent testing groups such as the SAE International Cooperative Research Program.

The companies said SAE testing found the product offers environmental performance and energy efficiency superior to carbon dioxide, another alternative refrigerant.

According to industry estimates, there are more than 400 million cars with air conditioning systems globally, with each system using between one half and one kilogram of refrigerant.

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