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Honeywell, DuPont Form JV to Produce Refrigerant

5:40 PM MDT | May 24, 2010 | Rebecca Coons

DuPont and Honeywell say they have formed a 50-50 joint venture to build a facility to make a jointly developed automotive air conditioning refrigerant that complies with upcoming EU emissions regulations. Financial terms were not disclosed. DuPont and Honeywill will jointly design and construct the facility but will market and sell the refrigerant, named HFO-1234yf, separately.

“The new refrigerant enables the automotive industry to reduce the environmental footprint of vehicles at significantly lower cost than alternatives,” says Gary W. Spitzer, president/DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts. By forming a jv, the two firms will be able to launch the product more quickly, he adds.

A location for the jv’s production unit has not been chosen, and the companies declined to disclose cost and capacity information. The company expects the jv site to come online as early as 2015.

HFO-1234yf will initially be manufactured in China by Changshu 3F Zhonghao New Chemical Materials (Zonghao; Changshu, China), beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011. DuPont recently acquired a minority stake in Zonghao ( p. 26).

In 2006 the European Commission ordered the phase out of the refrigerant R-134a in mobile air conditioning systems for cars sold in Europe, as part of an overall effort to reduce or eliminate materials with high global warming potential (GWP), says David Diggs, global business director/fluorine products at Honeywell. The regulation requires all new vehicle models to use a refrigerant with a GWP below 150 by 2011. HFC-134a has a GWP of 1430; DuPont and Honeywell say HFO-1234yf has a GWP of 4.

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