New refrigerant for cars: EU must not ignore fire risk

The photo shows that the fluorinated refrigerant 1234yf burned during the laboratory test.Click to enlarge
Laboratory test of the ignition behaviour of the refrigerant 1234yf

Refrigerant 1234yf ignited in laboratory test: release of 46 g of 1234yf in 70 seconds with formation of hydrogen fluoride (HF) in concentrations above 90 ppmv

Source: Umweltbundesamt

European Commission research centre ignores scientific results on the fire risk from the new refrigerant R1234yf for mobile air conditioning systems

Air conditioning systems for passenger cars in the EU must switch to a new refrigerant for the sake of climate protection. However, UBA is not the only one to believe that many car manufacturers are backing the wrong horse. The new refrigerant R1234yf can ignite during accidents and hydrofluoric acid may form. This is what tests commissioned by UBA and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), and others, have shown. Car occupants and rescue workers in particular may be potentially at risk. After having reviewed the KBA’s tests, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre nevertheless sees no serious risk and fully disregards results from other studies. UBA finds this incomprehensible.

Source: Umweltbundesamt

Laboratory test: Ignition behavior of 1234yf on hot surface

The video shows a simulation of refrigerant release: 50 grams of 1234yf (tetrafluoropropene) blended with 3% refrigerant oil are released on a hot metal surface (600°C).