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Honeywell partners with Indian manufacturer to increase supply of low-GWP MAC refrigerant HFO-1234yf

Honeywell has entered into a supply agreement and technology license with an Indian manufacturer to produce Honeywell Solstice yf, an automobile refrigerant with a global warming potential of less than 1.

Solstice yf, also known as HFO-1234yf, is a next-generation hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) refrigerant that is a near drop-in replacement for R-134a, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) with a global warming potential (GWP) of 1,300, for use in in vehicle air conditioning systems globally. Solstice yf is also being used in a growing number of stationary air conditioning and commercial refrigeration applications.

Honeywell will license its proprietary process technologies to produce the refrigerant to Navin Fluorine International Limited (NFIL), which will manufacture Solstice yf in India exclusively for Honeywell. Small-scale production is expected to begin by the end of 2016.

Honeywell and its key suppliers are investing approximately $300 million to increase global production capacity for Solstice yf, including the construction of a new, world-scale manufacturing plant using new process technology at the company’s existing Geismar, La., refrigerants manufacturing site.

More than 8 million cars on the road are currently using Solstice yf; the number is expected to grow to more than 18 million cars by the end of 2016, according to Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Fluorine Products.

The demand for Solstice yf for use in mobile air conditioning is increasing rapidly due to increased global environmental regulations and policies aimed at reducing the global warming impacts of HFCs. These include:

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved Solstice yf for use as a low-global-warming replacement for R-134a, which is banned in mobile air conditioning systems in new passenger cars and light-duty trucks starting in model year 2021.

  • Automakers in the US are also adopting Solstice yf to help comply with Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and vehicle greenhouse gas standards, which aim to improve the average fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with cars and light trucks.

  • The MAC directive in the European Union is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions of air-conditioning systems in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The directive requires that refrigerants in all new vehicle types sold in Europe after 1 Jan 2013 have a GWP below 150, and that all cars sold in Europe after 2017 must meet the new GWP requirement of less than 150.

Solstice yf is part of a family of stationary, commercial and mobile refrigerants, liquid and gaseous blowing agents, solvents and propellants based on Honeywell’s hydrofluoro-olefin technology. Honeywell and its suppliers are in the middle of a $900-million investment program in R&D and new capacity to produce next-generation refrigerants, insulation materials, aerosols and solvents, which have global warming potentials equal to or better than carbon dioxide and at least 99% lower than most technologies used today.

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