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Honeywell partners with Juhua in China to produce low GWP MAC refrigerant Solstice yf

Honeywell entered into a multi-year supply agreement with Juhua Corp., one of China’s top fluorine material enterprises, to produce Honeywell Solstice yf, further extending its global supply base for this low-global-warming-potential (GWP) mobile air conditioning (MAC) refrigerant.

Juhua will manufacture Solstice yf in China for Honeywell, and Honeywell will market and sell the product to customers in the US and Europe. Production is expected to begin by the end of 2016. In addition to helping to meet worldwide demand, production in China can help support the future adoption of Solstice yf in the region. The additional production will complement capacity currently being built by Honeywell in the US.

Solstice yf, also known as HFO-1234yf, is a next-generation hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) refrigerant with a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 1—lower than carbon dioxide—that is a near drop-in replacement for R-134a, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) with a GWP of 1,300.

This agreement follows Honeywell’s recent announcement of another regional manufacturing supply agreement for Solstice yf (earlier post) and is in line with Honeywell’s commitment to meet growing demand through a robust and diversified global supply infrastructure. Honeywell and its 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.

Solstice yf is also being used in a growing number of stationary air conditioning and commercial refrigeration applications. 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 all cars sold in Europe after 1 Jan 2017, must meet the new refrigerant requirement of having a GWP of less than 150.

Solstice yf is part of a family of stationary, commercial refrigeration 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 that 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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