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New refrigerant from INEOS Fluor developed to meet long term needs of the automotive air-conditioning sector

INEOS Fluor has today announced that it has developed and is currently trialing a new proprietary refrigerant designed to meet the long-term needs of automotive manufacturers in Europe. The new refrigerant will have a direct Global Warming Potential below the 150 threshold for automotive refrigerants set by the European Union F-Gas Directive. With many of the benefits associated with current fluorinated refrigerants it is expected that this new refrigerant will provide a viable alternative to HFC134a in vehicle air-conditioning beyond the ‘phase out’ in new vehicle types after 2011.

INEOS Fluor expects the new refrigerant will be compatible with current automotive air-conditioning technology. Initial assessments are promising, suggesting it will be an effective, non-flammable refrigerant with no Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and very low Direct Global Warming Potential. It is also expected to have the right characteristics to provide similar performance to HFC134a in existing systems. Detailed results from its development programme are expected later this year.

The development of a new INEOS refrigerant reflects the company’s commitment to meet the long-term needs of its refrigerant customers. As the first company in the world to commercially offer HFC134a (1990) it has continued to apply its expertise to the evaluation of new products designed to significantly reduce the direct Global Warming Potential of refrigerants worldwide. 

The market for refrigerants for automotive air-conditioning systems in Europe has changed following the F-Gas Directive. The conditions now exist for us re-assess a number of potential candidate refrigerants, to meet our customers needs,“ said David Price CEO INEOS Fluor. “Demand for a new fluorine based refrigerant is being driven by concerns over the cost and performance of CO2 and the needs of car companies to meet their commitment under the F-Gas Type Approval Directive by 2011. Our aim is to provide a safe and effective refrigerant for automotive air-conditioning that can be used with the same degree of confidence as HFC134a. We are pleased with our initial assessments but recognise that we have much more work to complete to be sure we have a safe and effective replacement, tested to the same level as HFC134a, in time to meet the European deadline.

Price continues: “In the meantime, it is important to note that responsibly managed HFC134a automotive air-conditioning systems continue to offer the best balance of safety, efficiency, environmental performance, and cost. Further enhancements of automotive air-conditioning systems using HFC134a are also delivering early environmental benefits, as shown by the Improved Mobile Air-Conditioning (I-MAC) programme, sponsored by INEOS and operated by SAE. “ 

INEOS Fluor continues to be a strong supporter of Responsible Refrigeration to ensure fluorinated gases, in particular HFCs, are contained in use and responsibly recovered, reused or disposed of at the end of their useful life. Maintaining refrigerant choice is the best way of delivering future improvements in performance, including energy efficiency. The development announced today is expected to form part of INEOS Fluor’s range of refrigerants, including HFCs, to meet the needs of the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector and continue to deliver environmental improvement. 

For further information contact: 

Richard Longden – INEOS Fluor - Tel: +44 1928 513064
Helen Atkinson - INEOS Fluor – Tel: +44 1928 513134


Note to editors:

INEOS Fluor, is a world leading specialities business built on expertise and innovation in fluorine chemistry. The company is focused on the supply of fluorine-based products, technology and services across a number of major industries from pharmaceuticals to automotive, speciality polymers to refrigeration and air-conditioning. It has manufacturing facilities at Runcorn in the UK, Mihara Japan and St Gabriel in the United States. The company employs around 400 people world-wide. 

Hydrofluorocarbon 134a (HFC134a) has enabled car companies around the world to replace chlorofluorocarbon 12 (CFC12) in mobile air-conditioning systems. In so doing these companies have replaced Ozone Depleting Substances and dramatically reduced the Global Warming Potential of automotive air-conditioning systems. HFCs are the most rigorously tested industrial chemicals ever; it is non-flammable, recyclable, easy to handle and highly energy efficient, which is why the industry has seen is as the product of choice in Mobile Air-Conditioning (MAC)

HFCs are widely used in refrigeration and air-conditioning applications and underpin the most cost effective, energy efficient technology. Their use spans automotive and office air-conditioning, domestic and supermarket refrigeration, transport and chiller systems.