by Jacques Gordon
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group established by the United Nations Environmental Program to provide “a clear view on the current state of knowledge in climate change,” has confirmed that both R-1234yf and R-1234ze(E) have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) below that of carbon dioxide. This was reported in this week’s edition of Ozo News, a newsletter assembled from various sources “to provide current news relating to ozone depletion and the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.”
In its latest report, the IPCC lists R-1234yf as having a 20-year GWP of 1 and a 100-year GWP of less than 1. Its sister refrigerant R-1234ze(E) is listed as having a 20-year GWP of 4 but, like yf, it’s 100-year GWP is less than 1.
Ozo News says the IPCC report suggests that the IPCC itself, which advises governments around the world on the science of global warming, has accepted the findings of an independent, peer-reviewed paper published last year by several leading chemists and environmental scientists from Europe and the US. That study was the first to calculate the GWP of all fluorocarbon-based refrigerants using all available atmospheric data, taking into account local atmospheric patterns.
Welcoming the report, Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Fluorine Products, manufacturer of the new refrigerant, said “Automakers around the world are choosing HFO-1234yf not only for its environmental attributes, but because it is easy to adopt, is safe, and it performs well in all climates.”
Ozo News also reports a counterfeiting ring in China that is responsible for producing bogus R-134a has been broken up by the Chinese government. There are hundreds of home-market brands of R-134a refrigerant in China, and nearly 80% are reported to be counterfeit, many of them dangerous and potentially lethal. This particular ring was producing counterfeit consumer-size cans of refrigerant labeled as the local brand “Giant.” That brand of R-134a is produced and sold legally by the same company that produces a different refrigerant for Honeywell. The counterfeit operation utilized almost a dozen warehouses and five production facilities. In all, police confiscated 28,000 aerosol cans of fake Giant-brand R-134a and other refrigerant brands, thousands of empty counterfeit cans, filling machines, packaging machines and counterfeit packaging and more than 20 tons of raw materials.
In an effort to defeat counterfeit products that reach the U.S. market, DuPont will introduce new security packaging on their disposable cans – the main target for counterfeiters. The package has a shrink sleeve with an iridescent background that changes colors in varying light. They have also introduced a new disposable can that has a resealable tap, so any unused refrigerant remains sealed in the can for future use. While this type of disposable can has been used in other countries before coming to the U.S., disposable cans were banned in Europe in 2007 and more recently in other countries such as Canada, Australia and Russia.