Have you heard of the latest developments in air conditioning refrigerant? There’s currently a new one in town, and it’s name is HFO-1234yf. It has been offered as an alternative to R-134a that was the standard for over 20 years.
This refrigerant is safer for the environment with low toxicity results, meaning there are no apparent health risks or safety hazards associated with it. It was developed by Honeywell Specialty Materials together with DuPont and was firstly used in Europe before coming available in North America.
The EU set forth environmental regulations that called for low global warming impact (GWP) in all new vehicles by 2017. If these regulations are met by 2017, and HFO-1234yf is “adopted in all new cars sold in the EU, North America, and Japan, every year those cars would have reduced emissions equivalent to using 2.3 to 4.9 billion fewer litres of fuel or driving 24 to 52 billion fewer kilometres.” Pretty impressive. Initially, all European vehicles were required to use HFO-1234yf in 2011, but because production capacity was limited, it was delayed until the year 2013.
The first car in North America to use HFO-1234yf was the 2013 Cadillac XTS, a luxury vehicle that took advantage of the low carbon dioxide impact that the refrigerant is known for. This refrigerant change is substantial for all automotive repair facilities and manufacturers because it allows for safer air conditioning systems for human inhalation and for the environment. It has a low GWP, and supports the latest environmental regulations set forth by the EU (the European Union MAC Directive).