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 also is 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 says this agreement is in line with its commitment to meet growing demand through a robust global supply infrastructure. 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, Louisiana, refrigerants manufacturing site.
“More than 8 million cars on the road today safely use Solstice yf,” said Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Fluorine Products. “That number is expected to grow to more than 18 million cars by the end of 2016. This agreement reflects our commitment to delivering the supply chain reliability and security that customers can rely upon as they transition to next-generation products that are safe to use, available today and capable of making a significant positive environmental impact.”
Gayer added that Honeywell’s supply agreement with NFIL, one of India’s largest manufacturers of specialty fluorochemicals, represents a first step in its commercial efforts to meet demand for the product.
According to Honeywell, 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 U.S. 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 U.S. also are 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 Jan. 1, 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.
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