Opteon and Solstice refrigerants are brand names of a new line of refrigerants known as Hydrofluoroolefins. These refrigerants are very similar to their sister classification known as Hydroflurocarbons. Much like HFCs HFO refrigerants are comprised of Hydrogen, Fluorine, and Carbon. Chemically, the only difference here between HFCs and HFOs is that HFOs are unsaturated meaning that they have at least one double bond of carbon. These double bonded molecules are known as Olefins or Alkenes. This is where the name Hydrofluroolefins comes from. While HFOs may have been around for a while there was never a demand for them. HFCs were the favored refrigerant when CFCs and HCFCs went away in the 1990’s. It was in the early 2000’s that things began to change. That was when the real push began to push out HFC refrigerants and to find viable alternatives through either Natural Refrigerants or through HFOs. The goal of HFO refrigerants is to provide an alternative refrigerant that is safe, non Ozone depleting, and with a relatively low Global Warming Potential number.
The first mainstream HFO refrigerant is known as 1234yf. This refrigerant was designed to be a replacement for the very common HFC R-134a. 134a is used in nearly every car on the road today for air-conditioning. If you’ve ever run into an HFO refrigerant before chances are it was 1234yf. With each passing year more and more cars on the road are using 1234yf instead of R-134a. In fact, R-134a is banned from use in newer models within the European Union. There is already a regulation on the books here in the United States that does the same thing for 2021 model year. (2020 year.)
As I said above the Opteon and Solstice names are brand names from the two biggest refrigerant manufacturers in the world: Honeywell and Chemours. (Chemours was formerly DuPont.) These two companies have been pouring millions of dollars into research and development to find the next biggest and greatest refrigerant to replace HFC refrigerants such as R-134a, R-404A, and R-410A.
Chemours & Opteon
First up is Chemours and their Opteon brand name. For those of you who do not know Chemours is a split off from the original company known as DuPont. I’m sure you’ve all heard of DuPont. Well they separated their refrigerant side of the business into a completely new company called Chemours. Chemours does not report to DuPont. They are their own entity.
As far as HFO refrigerants they are pouring a ton of money into developing new products on top of building a new state of the art plant in Corpus Christi, Texas. They broke ground on this facility earlier this year. Once completed this new manufacturing facility will triple Chemours’ output of HFO refrigerants.
Opteon refrigerant’s official page can be found by clicking here. So far there are about six HFO refrigerants added to the Opteon line. They are as follows:
Honeywell & Solstice
Just like with Chemours the Honeywell Corporation has their own private branded HFO refrigerant line known as Solstice and just like Chemours they are pouring millions into research and development as well as manufacturing power. In fact, I would say that Honeywell is a bit ahead of the game on the manufacturing side of things. Their HFO manufacturing plant opened for business earlier this year and is producing refrigerant as we speak.
Solstice refrigerant’s official page can be found by clicking here. So far there are six HFO refrigerants added to the Solstice line. They are as follows:
- Solstice L40X (R-455A)
- Solstice YF (R-1234yf)
- Solstice zd (R-1233zd)
- Solstice ze (R-1234ze)
- Solstice N13 (R-450A)
- Solstice N40 (R-448A)
Rather you like it or not HFO refrigerants are the refrigerant of the future. HFCs are going away and in fact are already seeing a shrinking marketplace both in the European Union and here in the United States. If you haven’t seen or heard of these Solstice and Opteon brand names before I guarantee you that you will shortly.
Thanks for reading,