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HFO 1234yf refrigerant has a GWP of less than 1, Honeywell announces

New refrigerant’s GWP has been reassessed to be lower than that of CO2, says refrigerant producer, following peer reviewed study by chemists

Honeywell has announced that a new study has found that its refrigerant, HFO 1234yf, has a global-warming potential (GWP) four times lower than previously calculated – below that of carbon dioxide.

The independent, peer-reviewed paper, published in volume 51 of Reviews of Geophysics by several leading chemists and environmental scientists from Europe and the US, is the first known study where the GWPs of all fluorocarbon-based refrigerants have been calculated consistently using all available atmospheric data, taking into account local atmospheric patterns, Honeywell said.

The study found HFO 1234yf to have a GWP of less than 1. CO2 is considered the baseline with a GWP equal to 1. Earlier studies had calculated the GWP for HFO 1234yf at 4, which is still a 99.7 percent improvement over HFC 134a, the manufacturer noted.

“HFO 1234yf also offers significant environmental and economic benefits over CO2-based air-conditioning systems,” said Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Fluorine Products. “For instance, a study by the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association found that HFO 1234yf air-conditioning systems can produce 20-30 percent fewer global warming emissions in hot climates than CO2 systems because HFO 1234yf systems require less fuel. If applied to the European automobile fleet, this fuel efficiency advantage could save 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which equates to as much as 4.5 billion euros in lower annual fuel costs for Europeans. With a GWP of less than 1, we can anticipate even more environmental and economic benefits to using HFO 1234yf.”

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