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Germans inflame debate over 1234yf

Published: 20 October 2011 - 00:00
THE introduction of HFO-1234yf as the replacement for R134a in car air conditioning systems continues to cause controversy and deep divisions of opinion in Germany.
While car manufacturers around the world appear to have accepted 1234yf as the new refrigerant, its flammability is still a cause for concern in Germany where CO2 had originally been championed to replace 134a.

In July the German firefighters association, Deutscher Feuerwehr Verband (DFV), gave the all-clear to the new refrigerant saying it was convinced 1234yf had the same safety standards as R134a.

This has fired-up the rival firefighters association Berufsverband Feuerwehr (BV) which has since called for a ban on the refrigerant and accused its opposite numbers at the DFV of basing its support for 1234yf on statements from the German car industry rather than independent studies.

Instead, the BV has called for the adoption of CO2 with the BV chairman suggesting in the German car magazine Autobild that cars using 1234yf should be clearly marked as dangerous.

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