SAE International has announced that is working with an international group of OEMs to investigate the formation of a new cooperative research programme on the 1234yf air conditioning refrigerant, in response to Daimler’s announcement of 25 September that it would not adopt the refrigerant for safety reasons. The CRP will undertake a technical evaluation of the findings referred to in Daimler’s news release.
SAE International has hosted an organisational meeting to discuss a preliminary scope of this research and is actively soliciting OEMs to formally join the new CRP.
Honeywell, which co-developed the HFO-1234yf refrigerant, states on its website: “Recent media reports in Europe, especially in Germany, have carried shocking headlines and gruesome images about a highly toxic substance, hydrofluoric acid or HF, and the possibility of it being formed from HFO-1234yf in the event of car accidents or fires. It’s time to set the record straight with a series of direct questions and honest answers, grounded in sound science.”
The site carries a detailed defence of the safety attributes of the refrigerant, and description of the safety issues related to it, drawn from research undertaken into HFO-01234yf by the French research institute Ineris and reported in the SAE CRP1234 (Cooperative Research Project) final report, which influenced governments to approve the substance for mobile air conditioning systems. The SAE kept the details of the Ineris research confidential, but reported its conclusions.