WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued final approval for a new alternative refrigerant, HFO-1234yf, which may now be used in air conditioning systems for new cars and light trucks. According to the EPA, when used appropriately, this refrigerant can reduce the environmental impact of motor vehicle air conditioners and has a global warming potential that is 99.7 percent less than the current refrigerant (HFC-134a) used in most car air conditioners. Though the use of HFO-1234yf in auto applications may not herald a quick transition to stationary use, the concept of using the refrigerant for stationary HVAC applications is already gaining support in European markets.

EPA said that it assists in the transition to green technologies by identifying alternatives that are better for people’s health and the environment. EPA noted that its recent standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty motor vehicles provide an opportunity for automakers to receive credit for adopting a refrigerant with less climate impact as a cost-effective way to meet the new standards. Using HFO-1234yf is one option available to automakers.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/.

Publication date:03/07/2011