The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has begun ramping up its long-time efforts to promote the transition to non-hydrofluorocarbon-based (HFC) cooling chemistry in vehicle air conditioning systems. Recently, the SAE's International Interior Climate Control Standards Committee made new overtures to assist regulatory bodies in finding ways to expedite the change from the current HFC-134a to a new alternative, HFO1234yr. A hydrofluoro olefin, HFO1234yr will markedly decrease the ozone-depleting potential of future automotive climate-control systems, thereby reducing their impact on global warming. This latest initiative from the Society of Automotive Engineers was made in correspondence to Congressmen Henry Waxman, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Edward J. Markey, who presides over both the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Both are co-signers of a proposal to mandate the phase-down of HFCs in vehicle air-conditioning systems
Composed of experts from the auto manufacturers, Tier One and Tier Two suppliers, various service equipment suppliers and independent testing facilities, the SAE's International Interior Climate Control Standards Committee has spent 10 years evaluating various low-impact replacements for the currently ubiquitous HFC-134a before settling on HFO1234yr. Interestingly enough, HFC-134a was mandated in the mid-1990s as a more eco-friendly step-up from the original CFC-12 automotive air-conditioning refrigerant, commonly known as Freon.