An SAE International Cooperative Research Program reported progress in expanding its evaluation of HFO-1234yf, stating that their “high level of confidence that R1234yf can be used safely in automotive applications continues to grow.”
The evaluations done by the automotive industry under the SAE program have involved extensive testing. According to SAE, the Cooperative Research Program is “using universally accepted engineering methods, including analysis of recent OEM testing from actual vehicle crash data, on-vehicle simulations, laboratory simulations, bench tests and over 100 engine compartment refrigerant releases.
Based on this testing, the CRP has found that the refrigerant is highly unlikely to ignite and that ignition requires extremely idealized conditions.”
Due to compliance orders from the EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy, between 2006-2011 the car industry evaluated multiple refrigerants for use and determined that HFO-1234yf is the most suitable alternative when considering performance, energy efficiency, climate considerations, safety, implementation factors and industry readiness.
HFO-1234yf is a scientific breakthrough that has a 99.7 percent lower global warming potential than the refrigerant it was developed to replace. In addition, this refrigerant enables energy efficiency, and has an optimal balance of safety, performance, sustainability and cost.
If HFO-1234yf were adopted in all new cars sold in the EU, North America and Japan, those cars would have reduced emissions equivalent to using billions fewer gallons of fuel or driving tens of billions fewer miles every year.
An earlier Cooperative Research Program was completed in 2009 and concluded that HFO-1234yf is a safe and acceptable alternative refrigerant for mobile air conditioning systems that can be used to meet new environmental and consumer needs. The previous evaluation has now been expanded, and SAE International says “the findings of the original CRP1234 remain well founded.”