New Auto refrigerant leaking Down Under
Alternatives to automotive air conditioning refrigerant R134a are starting to arrive on Australian shores. HFO 1234yf is now being seen pre-charged in some vehicles imported into the country as well as commercially available from selected wholesalers. Therefore, it is important that technicians have a basic understanding of this new refrigerant, as they would any new refrigerant.

Refrigerant R1234yF (HFO-1234yf) has been jointly developed by DuPont and Honeywell, specifically to cut the global warming potential of mobile air conditioning systems. This new gas has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 4, while HFC-134a - commonly used in automotive air conditioning systems - has a GWP of 1,430. HFO-1234yf is being adopted by automakers in Europe and Japan, and Australia is now seeing this refrigerant in vehicles being imported into the country, as well as in selected wholesalers.

HFO-1234yf is not currently a scheduled substance under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (Act) and therefore not regulated under Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 (Regulations). Only fluorocarbon-based refrigerants are covered under the Act, Regulations and the ARC licence scheme. Other lawful requirements may apply for handling of HFO-1234yf and technicians should make themselves aware of these.

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