Morris Township, New Jersey - Honeywell announced 12 May that it has tripled production capacity for its low-global-warming-potential (GWP) product, HFO-1234ze (hydrofluoroolefin-1234ze) to meet growing need for the material.
HFO-1234ze is used in many foam and aerosol applications.
Honeywell said the expansion, at Honeywell's small-scale HFO-1234ze manufacturing facility at its Buffalo Research Lab in Buffalo, New York, was achieved through equipment upgrades and overall productivity improvements during the last 18 months.
"Honeywell has seen a significant increase in demand for HFO-1234ze from the aerosol and foam industries, and a number of customers have signed long-term contracts," over recent months, said Terrence Hahn, vice president and general manager for Honeywell's Fluorine Products business, in the company statement. "We are committed to meeting the demands of our foam and aerosol industry customers both now and in the future."
HFO-1234ze was accepted for use in foam and aerosols by the US Environmental Protection Agency in June 2010. Earlier this year, the agency allowed HFO-1234ze to be sold in the US.
Honeywell says the material is non-flammable, non-ozone depleting and has a GWP of 6. It can replace HFC-134a (GWP 1430) and HFC-152a (GWP 124) in aerosols and in thermal insulating foams. It is also being considered to replace HFC-134a for chiller applications, the company noted.
HFOs are a family of unique products, since they offer similar performance to today's most widely used refrigerants, blowing agents and aerosol propellants -- but with the added benefit of having very low global warming potentials, Honeywell said.
HFO-1234ze is currently used in the US, Europe and Japan, with the majority demand from Europe.
Honeywell has developed HFO-1234yf, which is being adopted by automobile manufacturers as a replacement for the current hydrofluorocarbon used in automobile air conditioning, HFC-134a.
PIC: Honeywell researcher Jim Bowman at the Berlin blowing agents meeting in 2008 where HFOs were first revealed.