News & Views, July 2017

HFO-1234yf REFRIGERANT IS A FLAMMABLE GAS

Automobiles have been using refrigerant gases in their AC systems for decades.  The refrigerant gases have generally been inert gases, such as Freon-12 and R-134.  Recently, many auto manufacturers have started to use HFO-1234yf as the refrigerant gas in their AC systems.  This gas is expensive, about $80/lb., and the recycling machine costs another $5000.  The bigger issue is that it is a flammable gas.  Flammable gases pose special hazards and dealers should take steps to address this concern.

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Refrigerant Recycling Requirements For Motor Vehicles Under Clean Air Act (CAA), October 2006

Background:  Since July 1992, regulations promulgated under the CAA require that motor vehicle air conditioning refrigerant be recycled.  Last week, auto dealers in San Francisco area were penalized for violations arising under this act.  We must note that these CAA regulations are federal regulations and are applicable to all auto dealers in the US and not to San Francisco dealers alone.  To achieve compliance under this regulation, dealers must act as follows:

  • Clean Air Act Section 609 Technician Certification Program:  All employees working on A/C systems must be trained and tested by a program approved by EPA on how to properly recover and recycle refrigerant (such as Freon 12, HFC-134(a) or any other approved by EPA approved refrigerant).
  • Clean Air Act Section 609 Approved Equipment:  Must utilize EPA approved recycling equipment and mail a completed USEPA Refrigerant or Recycling Device Acquisition  Certification Form to EPA.

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