MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., and WILMINGTON, Del. - Honeywell and DuPont formed a manufacturing joint venture to produce a new refrigerant for use in automotive air conditioning systems.

Under the agreement, DuPont and Honeywell will share financial and technological resources with the intent to jointly design, construct, and operate a world-scale manufacturing facility for the new refrigerant, known as HFO-1234yf.

This venture follows an earlier joint development agreement under which the two companies developed HFO-1234yf. The joint venture is designed to provide DuPont and Honeywell with a world-class source of supply to meet the growing demand faster than would be possible through either company’s individual efforts. DuPont and Honeywell developed the product jointly but will market and sell it separately.

The product meets European Union (EU) regulatory requirements for lower GWP refrigerants for automobile air conditioning systems.

“Through this manufacturing partnership, Honeywell and DuPont will deliver to the automobile industry this environmentally preferable solution that meets both operational and regulatory requirements. Globally, consumers will benefit from this new technology, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” said Terrence Hahn, vice president and general manager for Honeywell’s Fluorine Products business.

“The new refrigerant enables the automotive industry to reduce the environmental footprint of vehicles at significantly lower cost than alternatives,” said Gary W. Spitzer, president of DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts.

Today’s automotive air conditioners use hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a, which has a GWP of 1430. The EU’s Mobile Air Conditioning Directive requires that, starting in 2011, all new vehicle models use a refrigerant with a GWP below 150, and by 2017, all new automobiles sold in Europe will be required to use a low-GWP refrigerant. HFO-1234yf has a GWP of 4, which is 97 percent less GWP than the new regulation requires.

Prior to construction of a world-scale plant, the joint venture will begin supplying the refrigerant in the fourth quarter of 2011 in time to meet the EU regulatory requirement.

Honeywell and DuPont introduced HFO-1234yf to the automotive industry in 2007, and since then, it has undergone extensive testing for safety and efficacy by independent testing groups such as the SAE International Cooperative Research Program, in which leading automakers participate.

The SAE testing found the product offers environmental performance superior to carbon dioxide, an alternative refrigerant, while having “the lowest risk for use in mobile air conditioning systems in meeting environmental and consumer needs.”

Publication date:06/07/2010