F-Gas Regulation and MAC

An Energy and Cost-Efficient Global Solution

Solstice® yf refrigerant has a GWP of 4, exceeding the climate protection goals of the EU (GWP 150) many times over.

Read the MAC Directive

Background

Years of research have resulted in the development of Solstice yf refrigerant. This safe, environmentally compliant, energy efficient, cost-effective and easy to implement refrigerant exceeds the climate protection goals of the EU Mobile Air Conditioning Directive (2006/40) by a factor of more than 35.

A new technology often causes insecurity. Our position paper aims at addressing concerns and providing answers to key questions that may arise. Solstice yf refrigerant has been tested extensively – in the U.S., in Japan, in the EU, and in individual EU member states. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) has conducted extensive testing – in conjunction with 18 research institutes and 15 car manufacturers, as well as suppliers. TÜV Rheinland in Germany has developed guidelines for garages and mechanics.

F-Gas Regulation Overview

The European F-Gas Regulation (842/2006), passed in July 2006, has the aim of reducing the environmental impact of fluorinated gases with high global warming potentials. This regulation is part of the EU’s efforts to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Under this regulation, refrigeration equipment is regularly audited to measure and record the leak tightness of equipment.

Based on these audits, the European Commission is currently in the review process for an update of the F-Gas Regulation.

Key goals of this review:

  • Determine if the regulation has resulted in the desired reduction of emissions
  • Evaluate if these measures have been cost effective
  • Find out if new technologies are available that could contribute to a further reduction of emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a high global warming potential (GWP)

The European Commission has contracted the German consultancy Ökorecherche to make this assessment. The Commission has also requested an assessment of proposals for an international agreement for a cap and phase down of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production and consumption. This agreement would fall under the Montreal Protocol.

A preliminary report by Ökorecherche was issued in October 2010 based upon surveys of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), industry and the national competent authorities. Since then, the preliminary report has been opened up to other stakeholders to help improve its accuracy because the input received had not been comprehensive. Meanwhile, the report has been amended. The report and the Commission Proposals will be debated in European Parliament and the Council. The legislative proposals will not be passed until the end of 2013.

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Goal of the EU is at least a 20% reduction versus the baseline year 1990. The new report focuses not only on the impact of reducing emissions by replacing fluorinated gases with high GWPs, but also on the impact of the energy efficiency of the alternative solutions to ensure that a net positive is created for the environment. Because the F-Gas materials currently in use are very energy efficient, they can effectively reduce CO2 emissions. In some cases these indirect benefits exceed the direct effects caused by the emission of F-gases during their useful life.

More information on the review is available at:
http://www.fluorocarbons.org/

Safety

Solstice yf refrigerant is a safe refrigerant for use in vehicle air conditioning systems. Numerous laws and other regulations are in place to ensure that when properly used these substances pose no threat to people and the environment.

During development of the product, Honeywell initiated detailed studies that yielded data for the regulatory requirement submissions for chemical substances. Solstice yf refrigerant is already registered as a refrigerant according to the EU REACH regulation. It is approved for use in the US, Japan, South Korea and China.

Applied Amounts In vehicles: about 600 grams

In car repair shops: usually 10 kg cylinders
Tests for Regulatory Reviews 1907/2006/EC (REACH; category 1000+ p.a.)

67/548/ECC (Dangerous Substances Directive)

Guidelines of The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Safety tests performed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
Additional Tests Fiat tested Solstice yf refrigerant in a crash test with the Fiat 500, performed at 40 mph (according to EuroNCAP Protocol).

Peugeot tested Solstice yf refrigerant in a crash test with the Peugeot 308, performed at 35 mph (according to ECE 94). The test was conducted at a high temperature.

In both tests, no fires occurred and no toxic substances were released.

Acceptable Exposure Limits for Solstice yf refrigerant in Daily Use (8 Hour Time Weighted Average) Acceptable limits: 500 ppm (parts per million) in the workplace (according to the American Industrial Hygienists Association).

Factual Exposure: vehicle: <1 ppm, stationary place: <1 ppm.

Classifications Toxicity Screening: Class A (lowest toxicity in accordance with the classification of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE).

H220: (Extremely flammable, but non-toxic according to Regulation (CLP) No. 1272/2008, which replaces 67/548/EEC and introduces two categories of flammability based on the Lower Flammability Limit (<13%) that categorizes gaseous substances A2L (moderately flammable according to ISO 817).

Flammability The EU requirements for the classification of gases (Regulation on Classification, Labeling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures of 30.11.2010, Regulation (EU) No. 1272/2008) designates Solstice yf refrigerant as “extremely flammable”. This classification is solely based on the lower flammability limit and ignores other important parameters such as ignition energy, heat of combustion and flame propagation rate.
The energy required to ignite Solstice yf refrigerant is 5.000 mJ (Millijoule). By comparison:

  • Gasoline ignites at 0.2 mJ.
  • Spark plugs need a minimum energy of approximately 40 mJ to ignite fuel.
  • Auto ignition temperature of air/refrigerant mixture: 405 degrees Celsius.
  • In tests no ignition was recorded on contact with hot surfaces with temperatures of up to 800 degrees Celsius.
Decomposition Substance: Hydrofluoric Acid Independent, global testing laboratories have conducted comprehensive tests on Solstice yf refrigerant. Based upon the results of these tests, these independent parties have concluded that Solstice yf refrigerant is safe for use in mobile air conditioning.

The risk associated with the formation of hydrofluoric acid is similar to that of the current refrigerant, R-134a. Given the many years of safe use of HFC-134a in automobile air conditioning and the lack of any published medical reports indicating exposures to HF, it has been concluded that Solstice yf refrigerant is safe for use in mobile air conditioning.

(Re)fill, Maintenance and Disposal High quality as well as safety standards assure a safe supply chain exclusively to car manufacturers, suppliers and qualified specialized companies. It is not distributed to private users.

A/C training prepared by the German Federation for Motor Trades, according to regulation EG No. 307/2008, provides for the safe and proper use of cooling agents.
Guidelines for the application in garages and specialized companies have been created and personnel has been trained by respective associations.
Specialized companies will recover Solstice yf refrigerant for recycling or final disposal.