En Route to Discovery of Potential ‘Green’ Refrigerants

Refrigerants have a wide range of applications in Canada, from their support for the food industry (storage and transport) to their key role in recreational sports like hockey, curling and ice-skating. Although current hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants have solved previous problems associated with depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, they still suffer from high global warming potentials. More recently, these are being replaced by hydrofluoroalkene (HFA) refrigerants with considerably less global warming potential.

Greener Routes to Value-Added Fluorocarbons by Metal-Catalyzed Reactions

The current production methods for new generation refrigerants (HFO-1234yf) used in cars, refrigerators, air-conditioners, etc. require energy intensive and sometimes corrosive conditions. The current project seeks to reduce or eliminate these two caveats. We propose, by using readily available feedstock or by-products from Teflon manufacturing, we could use our process to easily manufacture HFO-1234yf. Using our less energy intensive, heating to only 50 °C, and mild conditions could lead to significant cost reductions in plant equipment and energy demands.