Briefs: HFO1234yf: results of SAE investigations

The Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) International Cooperative Research Program (CRP) presented its findings on the new alternative refrigerant for mobile air-conditioning systems HFO-1234yf. SAE is a global association of 115 000 engineers and technical experts in the automotive industries. HFO-1234yf (CF3CF=CH2), an hydrofluoroolefin with a GWP of 4, has been developed by Honeywell and DuPont as a replacement of HFC-134a, in response to the European Directive which bans the use of refrigerants with a GWP higher than 150 in new cars by 2011. The main conclusions of the SAE CRP regarding HFO-1234yf are: 10-15% less total global warming emissions than CO2, near drop-in solution (vs. new system design required for CO2), safe for use in automotive air-conditioning applications with proper mitigation (same conclusion for CO2). For HFO-1234yf and CO2, the next challenge will be the decision on the pending EPA SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) regulatory approval for US markets.