GM first to market GHG-friendly refrigerant in U.S.

  • 16-Aug-2010 04:54 EDT

On average, R-134a refrigerant has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years. By comparison, the new refrigerant lingers in the atmosphere for just 11 days.

General Motors Co. will introduce a new greenhouse gas-friendly air-conditioning refrigerant in 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models in the U.S. that keeps vehicle interiors as cool while reducing heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere by more than 99%. The biggest benefit of the new refrigerant, HFO-1234yf supplied by Honeywell, is that it breaks down faster in the atmosphere than the refrigerant currently used (R-134a). On average, R-134a refrigerant has a global warming potential (GWP) of over 1400. By comparison, the new refrigerant has a GWP of 4, a 99.7% improvement. The U.S. EPA awards regulatory credit for the improved environmental performance of the new refrigerant, which helps GM meet the overall requirements of the EPA’s new motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations. The new regulation requires an overall 40% improvement in overall U.S. fleet average vehicle fuel economy by 2016. The use of HFO-1234yf will help GM vehicles exceed its targets under the new regulations.

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