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GM First to Market Greenhouse Gas-Friendly Air Conditioning Refrigerant in U.S.

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GM First to Market Greenhouse Gas-Friendly Air Conditioning Refrigerant in U.S.

Breaks Down Faster in Atmosphere but Keeps Vehicles as Cool as Today

2010-07-23

WARREN, Mich. – 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 as today while reducing heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere by more than 99 percent.

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 an atmospheric life of more than 13 years, giving it a global warming potential (GWP) of over 1,400.

By comparison, the new refrigerant lingers in the atmosphere for just 11 days and has a GWP of only 4, a 99.7 percent improvement. GWP is a value used to compare different greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. The base measurement for GWP is relative to that of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 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 percent improvement in overall U.S. fleet average vehicle fuel economy by 2016. The use of HFO-1234yf will help GM vehicles significantly exceed its targets under the new regulations.

“GM’s decision to adopt this new refrigerant is additional proof of our commitment to be on the forefront of green technologies that will keep our planet healthy for our children and grand-children,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. “It’s not just about meeting regulatory requirements; it’s about environmental leadership and GM plans to lead in developing new technologies that will take the vehicle out of the environmental debate.”

Said Terrence Hahn, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products: “We’re pleased that GM is taking the lead in choosing HFO-1234yf, a refrigerant that has a lower impact on global warming. This is another example of how Honeywell is developing innovative new environmental and energy-efficient solutions to meet our customers’ current and future needs.”

About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 205,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

link:

http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/news/news_detail.brand_gm.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/July/0723_refrigerant

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GM: New eco-friendly refrigerant on the way

By Mark Kleis

General Motors has announced that beginning in 2013 it will begin utilizing a new refrigerant product in all of its vehicles in the U.S. in an effort to help reduce its impact on global warming, while promising to retain its current performance levels.

GM says that the current product, R-134a, is particularly harmful to the environment because it takes an average of 13 years to break down once released into the atmosphere. As a result, it is rated with a global warming potential (GWP) of 1,400.

The product that aims to replace R-134a, known as HFO-1234yf, will be supplied by Honeywell. GM says this new product breaks down faster than R-134a, lasting just 11 days in the atmosphere, and holding a GWP rating of just four – a 99.7 percent improvement.

Despite its major improvement in its ability to break down in the atmosphere, GM promises that it will retain the same cooling levels achieved from the more harmful R-134a refrigerant.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/gm-new-eco-friendly-refrigerant-on-the-way.html

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GM Greens Its Auto ACs With Greenhouse-Gas-Friendly Coolant

John Voelcker July 23rd,

July 23rd, 2010

Among the many substances emitted by autos back in the "good old days" were the refrigerant gases that would leak from older auto air conditioners. Freon, also known as R-12, was replaced starting in the early 1990s with R-134a, which did less damage to the ozone layer. Now concern has expanded to greenhouse gases in general. Today, General Motors announced it will switch to a new refrigerant for all 2013 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC models. The new gas, HFO-1234yf, breaks down far faster in the atmosphere than today's R-134a, and will reduce the amount of airborne refrigerant from the new cars by more than 99 percent. Supplied by Honeywell, the greenhouse-gas-friendly HFO-1234yf refrigerant breaks down in just 11 days, versus its predecessor's 13 years. This cuts its rating on the global warming potential (GWP) index from more than 1,400 to just 4. Why make this change? In part, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards carmakers credits for improving the environmental performance of refrigerants, helping the vehicles to meet limits on overall emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. GM says its vehicles will "significantly exceed" the target reduction of 40 percent in fuel usage by 2016. [General Motors]

link:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1047492_gm-greens-its-auto-acs-with-greenhouse-gas-friendly-coolant

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

I wonder if this will be made available to retrofit older R-12 systems that are still out there. Instead of going to R-134a, I'd convert the Toronado to this stuff if I needed to/could.

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balthazar    2,004

For years I heard there was a 'conversion process', primarily involving seals, in retro-fitting older R-12 systems with R-134, and that it was 'expensive'. How much so, IDK. I talked with my B-I-L (he's in HVA/C) idly about doing so for my '64 back in the day.

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