DuPont prepares to ramp-up R1234yf production
DESPITE concerns expressed by Daimler with regard to the safety of R1234yf, DuPont says it has now successfully established supply of the refrigerant from China and Japan and has put firm plans in place for further expansions.
Shipments of the new refrigerant, which is designed to replace R134a in car air conditioning systems, began in early October from its Chinese facility and quality and production rates are said to have exceeded expectations.
DuPont has made commercial shipments of Opteon YF (the DuPont brand name for 1234yf) refrigerant starting in 2011, and claims to have firm supply plans to meet customers' forecasted demand for the EU MAC Directive and needs for the product in other markets.
DuPont acquired a share in Changshu 3F Zhonghao New Chemical Materials Co in 2010 and that Chinese plant is now capable of producing 3000 tons/yr of 1234yf.
Referring to DuPont's investment so far, Jane E. Austin, global business director, DuPont Fluorochemicals, said 'We are planning further investments to meet long-term market needs. Our capacity expansion efforts demonstrate our commitment to meeting the industry's needs for this product.'
The US refrigerant manufacturer has also echoed the sentiments of its R1234yf development partner Honeywell in its reaction to Daimler's announcement that it would not be using the new refrigerant due to safety concerns.
Reaffirming its continued confidence in the safety of R1234yf as an automotive refrigerant, Diane Iuliano Picho, global business manager, Opteon refrigerants, said 'We met with Daimler to understand their testing approach and results, and based on these discussions, DuPont has concluded the testing does not represent new information.
'DuPont has offered to provide technical expertise to work with Daimler and other automotive OEMs to resolve questions about the adoption of HFO1234yf as a more sustainable automotive refrigerant, in time to meet the requirements of the MAC Directive by January 1, 2013,' she added.