HONEYWELL and DuPont are to combine forces in the race to produce HFO1234yf ahead of the European ban on R134a for automotive air conditioning systems.
With the European Commission confirming that there will be no concessions regarding the January 1 2011 ban on the use of R134a in new cars, the two refrigerant manufacturers have reacted swiftly.
Under a manufacturing joint venture announced last month, DuPont and Honeywell will share financial and technological resources to design, construct and operate a world-scale manufacturing facility for the new refrigerant.
This follows on from the two companies’ earlier joint development agreement and is designed to enable DuPont and Honeywell to meet an immediate world-wide demand that would not be possible individually.
Initial supplies of 1234yf will be produced under licence from Changshu 3F Zhonghao, DuPont’s trading partner in China and a company in which DuPont is in the process of acquiring a minority interest. This plant is expected to begin supplying the refrigerant in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Meanwhile, the joint venture partners are searching for a suitable site for a much larger plant for global supply for all cars, which is planned to be operational for 2015.