Auto Manufacturers Using Alternative Refrigerants

March 22nd, 2011

The quest to find an alternative AC refrigerant for automotive Air conditioning systems is growing legs as GM is the latest auto manufacturer to announce that it will be using a new refrigerant, HF-1234yf,  in many of their main auto models. The move is going to happen in 2013, as numerous models will make the shift, including mainstays such as Cadillac, Chevy and Buick cars.
The new refrigerant is HF-1234yf, and has been created by Honeywell.
Manufacturers are searching for a more environmentally friendly alternative to R134A, which has been in use for nearly two decades. This new refrigerant is 97% better for the environment. It is proven to have lower lifetime GHG emissions than HFC-134a or CO2. It also requires only minor modifications to current vehicle AC systems, compared to some other new refrigerants, which require a higher pressurized system.
Before R134A,  R-12 was the refrigerant of choice for decades. The new refrigerant breaks down much quicker than R134A, which means less ozone depleting properties. Auto manufacturers are scrambling to come up with viable alternative to meet new, and increasingly strict EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations on greenhouse gas production. The EPA just recently approved the use of this new refrigerant in February 2011. So the next time your car is up on the Garage Lift at the local auto shop, you may be a candidate for this new product.


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