Hello all, I thought I would do a brief history of DuPont, the company that invented and patented the name ‘Refrigerant.’ This will be a learning experience for me as well as I do not know too much about the company. Most of the information found in this blog is either from their Wikipedia page or their about us on their webpage.
DuPont was founded in 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware by Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont. (Try saying that name out loud!.) Originally, DuPont began as a manufacturer of gun powder as Du Pont noticed that America’s industry was lagging behind Europe’s.
The company expanded quickly and by the mid 1800’s they became the single largest supplier of gun powder to the American military. DuPont provided over half of the gun powder used by the Union Army during the civil war. Even before Refrigerant was invented they were having a significant impact on the history of the United States and the world.
In 1902 DuPont, the current president, died. The surviving partners sold the company to three great-grandsons of the original founder. During this time the company began acquiring smaller chemical companies across the United States. With all of these acquisitions the government grew concerned that DuPont was gaining a monopoly on the explosives industry. Under the Sherman AntiTrust Act the government split DuPont into three separate companies thus ending their monopoly on the explosives market.
In 1910 DuPont established two of the first industrial laboratories in the United States. There they begin to work on cellulose chemistry, lacquers, and other non-explosive products. DuPont central research was established at the DuPont Experimental Station across the creek where the original DuPont gun powder mills were located.
In 1914 Pierre S. DuPont invested in the new company called General Motors. The following year he was invited to sit on GM’s board of directors and would eventually be appointed the company’s chairman. In 1920 Pierre was elected president of General Motors. (I find this amazing, I had no idea that DuPont was responsible for GM!) In 1957 DuPont was forced to divest it’s interests in GM due to anti-trusts laws being violated. (The government didn’t want another monopoly on it’s hands.
In 1920 DuPont continued it’s focus on materials science. Soon after they invented synthetic rubber, nylon, and Teflon. Last but not least, they also invented one of the world’s first insecticide called phenothiazine.
In World War 2 DuPont was one of the top manufacturers for the government. With their Nylon invention they produced raw materials for parachutes, powder bags, and tires. They also played a large role in the Manhattan Project. DuPont designed, built, and operated the plant that produced the Plutonium that was necessary for the nuclear bombs used at the end of World War 2.
In the 1950s and 60s DuPont created numerous materials such as Mylar, Dacron, Orlon, and Lyrca. All of these were necessary and helpful in the Apollo missions to the moon. DuPont has also been a key developer in our military’s body armor, and is responsible for all of the bullet proof vests that our military and police personnel wear today.
Now, getting to the actual Refrigerant inventions of DuPont. (Here I thought Refrigerant was their only invention…) The very first chlorofluorocarbons, or Refrigerant, was invented in the 1890’s by a Belgian chemist named Frederic Swarts.
In the late 1920s a research team was formed at General Motors (Owned by DuPont at this time) to find a replacement for the dangerous refrigerants that were in use at this time. In 1928 they improved the synthesis of the CFCs and successfully demonstrated their abilities.
In the 1930s General Motors & DuPont formed Kinetic Chemicals to produce Refrigerant. Their product was dichlorodifluromethane and is now referred to as R-12 Refrigerant. The number after the R is the refrigerant class number.
Most uses of CFCs have been banned in the United States and other parts of the world due to their depleted effects on the O-Zone layer. The most common type of Refrigerant today is the hydroflurocarbons or HFCs. HFCs include the most popular types of Refrigerant today R-134A and R-410A.
So, to sum it up DuPont has invented EVERYTHING in the past one-hundred years. They with help from General Motors invented, improved, and patented Refrigerant and today are one of the best manufacturers of Refrigerant. They are also the ONLY 100% United States manufacter of Refrigerant.