The Big Three Refrigerant Manufacturers
Chances are you have heard of most of these companies, but I thought I would do a quick overview on where the majority of your refrigerants are being manufactured. The big three are DuPont, HoneyWell, and MexiChem. Of course there are other manufacturers out there as well as hundreds of import product available but if you are looking for quality and safe refrigerant blends these are the brands that you want to purchase.
DuPont is the inventor of refrigerant as we know it today. Back in the 1920s a research team was formed at General Motors and DuPont to find a replacement for the dangerous refrigerants that were in use at the time. A few years later the partnership came up with chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. CFCs would go on to become the primary type of refrigerant for the rest of the twentieth century. Since then DuPont has always played a role in developing, innovating, and manufacturing refrigerants of all various types.
In recent history DuPont announced that it will be creating a new company that is completely separate from the DuPont name/company. The new company is called ‘The Chemours Company.’ Chemours went live in 2015 and now all titanium dioxide, fluro products (refrigerants) , and chemical solutions will be manufactured, produced, and distributed by the Chemours Company. I don’t foresee this changing much as DuPont has been broken into various companies over the years and each one has been successful in it’s own right. The only thing changing is the name on the product.
One point of note is that DuPont prides itself on American made product and all of the product that you buy from them will be guaranteed American made. This is a great selling point if you are going against imported Chinese product.
Honeywell has been around since the 1800s just about as long as DuPont has been in existence. Also like DuPont Honeywell is a household name and a global conglomerate that makes nearly everything you can think of. HoneyWell didn’t start getting into refrigerants until after World War 2 in the 1940s. At the time the company was ‘Allied Chemical Corporation,’ which ended up merging with HoneyWell at a later date. During World War 2 it was realized that the majority of chemical manufacturing took place in Germany and due to the war there were large chemical shortages across the world. Allied Chemical Corporation took it upon themselves to fix this problem.
HoneyWell has always provided great refrigerant product and has formed many partnerships with DuPont to develop new refrigerants as well as joint manufacturing facilities. Not all of Honeywell’s product is American made, but rest assured the product is of great quality and will not disappoint. Over all, great product.
MexiChem is a little less known than the other big players Honeywell and DuPont, but they are definitely worth mentioning. Mexichem formed in 1998 with the merger of various chemical companies and have grown over the past seventeen years to a global presence. Don’t be misled by the 1998 date, they have fifty years of experience in the chemical industry from their various mergers and acquisitions. They are head quartered out of Mexico but have plants across the world as well as the one of the largest plants of 134a refrigerant in the world based in St Gabriel, Louisiana. So, yes… their product is American made.
One important thing to mention about Mexichem is that in late 2013 early 2014 they filed a lawsuit with the International Trade Commission claiming that the imported Chinese refrigerants were being brought in at such low prices that American made product could not compete and resulted in loss of business for American companies. The Chinese can make it cheaper than America AND the Chinese goverment was subsidizing the product to make the price even cheaper to export. (I’ve seen some priced at $40.00 a cylinder!) Mexichem called foul and filed this lawsuit hoping that the trade commission would place tariffs on the imported product which would allow North American companies to compete. I wrote a full article on this earlier this year, click here to read.
In late 2014 the trade commission came out with a ruling opposing Mexichem. No tariffs would be issued as the commission stated that the imported product was not harming the American market. Mexichem was not happy with this ruling and have since appealed the ruling in January of 2015. A decision on the case is expected to be made towards the end of 2015. This is an important case to watch as if the commission rules in favor of Mexichem than the price of 134a could go up thirty or forty percent due to the tariffs being put in place. In 2014 when speculation was going wild on this lawsuit the price of 134a shot up to around $140 a cylinder in mid summer. It has since crashed back to normal pricing but who knows what will happen in 2015.
If you are going to be buying refrigerant soon check to see if it is manufactured by one of these three companies. These guys know what they are doing and you are going to get quality product.
Thanks for reading,