Corporate / CSR

August 2, 2014


NEDO, Asahi Glass Develop New Refrigerant with Dramatically Lower Climate Impact

Keywords: Chemicals Climate Change Corporate Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry University / Research institute 

Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) announced on March 19, 2014, that Asahi Glass Co., a Japanese manufacturer of glass, electronic components, chemicals, and other products, had successfully developed a new air-conditioning refrigerant that has one-sixth the global-warming potential (GWP) of conventional refrigerants while delivering performance on par with that of HFC-410A, a conventional hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant.

Since HFC is a chlorine-free and non-ozone depleting substance, it is used as an alternative to chlorofluorocarbon; however, its GWP - a relative measure of how much heat a gas traps in the atmosphere - is high and it therefore has a large environmental impact. Regulations have already been imposed on HFC in Europe and the use of HFC is to be restricted in Japan starting in 2015.

Asahi Glass developed the new refrigerant in a NEDO project aimed at developing new technologies for high-efficiency non-fluorinated air-conditioning systems. It is an environmentally efficient mixed refrigerant whose main ingredient is hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-1123, which has an extremely low GWP. It has about half the GWP of HFC-32 (an alternative refrigerant that has begun to be used in some fields), while providing performance equivalent to conventional refrigerants. Asahi Glass plans to start commercial production in 2016.