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GM plans 'green' air-conditioning refrigerant for selected 2013 models

General Motors Co. plans a new greenhouse gas-friendly air-conditioning refrigerant for 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models.

Unlike HFCs and CFCs, which take generations to decompose, HFO-1234yf does not accumulate in the atmosphere creating long-term issues. A short atmospheric lifetime means less impact on the environment. Honeywell

GM is planning to keep drivers and passengers of 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac cars cool with a sustainable air-conditioning refrigerant that lingers in the atmosphere for only days instead of years.

Honeywell has designed a new refrigerant, (HFO-1234yf), that lingers in the atmosphere for just 11 days and has a global warming potential (GWP) of only 4, a 99.7 percent improvement over current emissions.

On average, the refrigerant used in current GM models, R-134a, has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years and a GWP of more than 1,400.

"GM's decision to adopt this new refrigerant is additional proof of our commitment to be on the forefront of green technologies that will keep our planet healthy for our children and grand-children," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "It's not just about meeting regulatory requirements; it's about environmental leadership, and GM plans to lead in developing new technologies that will take the vehicle out of the environmental debate."

The refrigerant will meet new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation requirements, which call for improved greenhouse gas and fuel economy in passenger cars and light-duty trucks by 2016.

"We're pleased that GM is taking the lead in choosing HFO-1234yf, a refrigerant that has a lower impact on global warming," said Terrence Hahn, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products. "This is another example of how Honeywell is developing innovative new environmental and energy-efficient solutions to meet our customers' current and future needs."