Honeywell today said it welcomed implementation of the European Union's Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) Directive, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by requiring use of automotive refrigerants with significantly lower global warming impact.
The directive came into force on Jan. 1, 2013, and the company said it is fully prepared to supply automakers with HFO-1234yf, a new lower-global-warming-potential refrigerant that has been proven to be a safe and effective replacement for HFC-134a and is already in use by the auto industry. Compared with HFC-134a, HFO-1234yf offers a 99.7 percent improvement in global warming potential.
"Honeywell has been preparing to assist automakers meet this milestone directive, investing in research to develop HFO-1234yf, which is the alternative refrigerant that best meets the requirements for safety, effectiveness and energy efficiency," said Dr. Ian Shankland, chief technology officer for Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. "HFO-1234yf is a near drop-in replacement for HFC-134a, making it easy and cost-effective for automakers to comply with the MAC Directive."
The European Union's F-Gas Regulation (842/2006), passed in July 2006 and enforced through the MAC Directive, aims to reduce emissions of specific fluorinated greenhouse gases in the air-conditioning systems in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
The directive requires that refrigerants in all new type vehicles sold in Europe after Jan. 1, 2013, have a global-warming potential (GWP) below 150 and that all cars sold after 2017 meet the lower GWP requirement. HFC-134a has a GWP of 1,430, while HFO-1234yf has a GWP of 4, far exceeding the MAC Directive requirement.
According to a third-party study, if all cars in Western Europe today were converted from HFC-134a to HFO-1234yf, it would result in a reduction of an equivalent 8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year ? or removing 4 million cars from the road.
The European Commission, at a December 2012 meeting of its Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV), reconfirmed that the MAC directive would be fully enforced starting on Jan. 1.
HFO-1234yf has been exhaustively and extensively evaluated by respected global testing agencies, including SAE International, which concluded after a three-year evaluation of the refrigerant involving 15 global automakers, 17 top automotive suppliers and 18 international, independent research institutes that the refrigerant is safe and effective in automotive applications.
SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, is an independent, global association of more than 133,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.
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