WILMINGTON, Del., May 4, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — Martin Drigotas, DuPont Automotive Refrigerants manager, was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Protection Award for his role as a founder of the Improved Mobile Air Conditioning Cooperative Research Program (IMAC). Launched in April 2004, the IMAC research program is an ambitious collaborative effort to deliver dramatic increases in the energy efficiency and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of motor vehicle air conditioning (A/C) systems.
The partnership goal is to reduce fuel consumption from the operation of vehicle A/C by at least 30 percent and refrigerant emissions by 50 percent. Air conditioning in vehicles has direct emissions of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants that are greenhouse gases and indirect tailpipe emissions from the additional fuel that is burned to power the cooling.
All vehicles currently use a refrigerant called HFC-134a, which is included in the gases scheduled for control under the Kyoto Protocol. European manufacturers and governments support new regulations that will phase out HFC-134a for vehicles after about 2012, but it is not yet clear whether replacement technology will better protect the climate. This project will improve the existing HFC-134a technology, raising the bar that competing technology will need to clear in order to capture markets in North America, Asia, and elsewhere.
Over 55 global partners from industry, universities, government research laboratories, environmental advocacy groups and regulatory agencies are participating in the IMAC program (full list of partners is attached).
Founding members of IMAC include: Drigotas; Dr. Stephen O. Anderson, project director for the U.S. EPA; Ward Atkinson of Sun Test Engineering; William Hill, General Motors A/C Integration Engineer; and Elvis Hoffpauir, president and chief operating officer of the Mobile Air Conditioning Society. Drigotas, 57, is a 36-year veteran of DuPont and a founding member of IMAC.
“I’m proud to be on the team that organized the mobile air conditioning community to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air conditioner reliability, safety and comfort,” Drigotas said. “Our role in IMAC is a continuation of DuPont’s work to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving the IMAC goals will preserve the consumer and safety benefits of current mobile air conditioning systems while significantly improving their environmental performance.”
“This improved air conditioning technology can be applied in the next decade to over 300 million vehicles worldwide while industry develops even better revolutionary technology for next-generation hybrids and fuel cell vehicles,” said Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, project director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “The global vehicle industry and their customers will save $4 to $5 billion if we can immediately improve HFC-134a systems to reliably reduce refrigerant emissions and use significantly less energy than the proposed alternative systems.”
According to the U.S. EPA, the combination of fuel savings and reduced refrigerant emissions would save over 35 billion kilograms (77 billion pounds) of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually. This improved system could save the consumer over $420 in auto repair costs over the life of the vehicle.
DuPont’s role in IMAC is a continuation of the company’s work to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. DuPont was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2003, the highest honor for technological innovation in the United States, for its global leadership and innovation in developing alternative technology that reduced the environmental impact caused by ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used for air conditioning, refrigeration and other applications. This award recognized, among other things, the work done by DuPont to commercialize the first of its non-ozone- depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs), DuPontâ„- Suva® refrigerants in January 1991. Since then, the company has launched 19 alternatives and more than 375 patents. In 2000, Chief Executive Officer Chad Holliday announced DuPont would set a goal to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent based on 1990 as a base year. DuPont achieved a 72 percent reduction by the end of last year.
About DuPont [ www.Dupont.com ]
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
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Improved Mobile Air Conditioning Partners Listing:
— Australian Department of Environment and Heritage
— California Air Resources Board
— Environment Canada
— Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission
— Japan Ministry of Environment
— Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
— U.S. Army
— U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
— U.S. National Renewable Energy Research Laboratory
Association and Research Partners:
— Association of International Automobile Manufacturers
— Ecole des Mines de Paris
— Indian Institute of Technology
— International Organization of Standardization
— Japan Fluorocarbon Manufacturers Association
— Mobile Air Conditioning Society
— Service Technicians Society
— Society of Automotive Engineers
— Underwriters Laboratories
— University of Braunschweig (Germany)
— University of Illinois
— University of Maryland
Auto Manufacturer Partners:
— Centro Richerche Fiat
— General Motors
— Mitsubishi Motors
— Volvo Car Corporation
— AC Delco
— Delphi Automotive Systems
— DuPont Fluoroproducts
— Four Seasons
— INEOS Fluor
— Johnson Controls
— Snap-On Diagnostics
— Solvay Fluorochemicals
— Texas Instruments
— Tracer Products
— UView Ultraviolet Systems
— Visteon Corporation
Environmental Advocacy Group Partners:
— Friends of the Earth
— Natural Resources Defense Council
— World Resources Institute