DuPont's new refrigerant gets European Patent

The European Patent Office will grant a patent for a new, lower global-warming automotive air-conditioning refrigerant, HFO-1234yf, developed jointly by DuPont and Honeywell.

Working with the auto industry, thw two companies jointly developed the new product. DuPont will have access to Honeywell's patent worldwide.

''We are pleased that the European Patent Office intends to grant a patent for the use of HFO-1234yf in auto air conditioning,'' said Diane Picho, global business manager, DuPont Refrigerants. ''DuPont will continue commercialising this environmentally-preferable product with the additional intellectual property protection this patent affords.''

Honeywell and DuPont developed HFO-1234yf to help the automotive industry comply with the European Union's Mobile Air-Conditioning Directive. Beginning in 2011, the measure requires refrigerants to have global warming potential (GWP) below 150. HFO-1234yf has a GWP of 4.

Worldwide, extensive studies have found HFO-1234yf superior to other potential replacements. In addition to DuPont tests and others, the US Environmental Protection Agency evaluated the product and proposed a rule that would approve HFO-1234yf for use in mobile air-conditioning systems in the US.

DuPont is conducting lab and field tests to evaluate HFO-1234yf and other refrigerants with similar attributes as more sustainable cooling solutions for stationary air conditioning and refrigeration as well.