The Journal interviewed Rajarshi Datta
Country Head & General Manager – South Asia, Honeywell Advanced Materials.
Here are some excerpts:
Journal (J): How will the implications of Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol impact the Indian refrigeration industry?
Rajarshi Datta (RD): Under the Kigali Amendment, all countries will gradually phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by more than 80% over the next 30 years and replace them with more environmentally preferable alternatives. India supported the Kigali Amendment, under which India would be required to reduce the use of HFCs by 85% of the amount used in 2024- 26, by the year 2047. A clear and accelerated HFC phase-down commitment is a good opportunity for the Indian refrigeration industry to transition to materials with lower climate impact, while promoting local production and adoption. Many Indian manufacturers are already transitioning and switching to lowerglobal- warming-potential (GWP) refrigerants, as they provide significant opportunities for energy efficiency improvements in the air conditioning and cooling appliances used in India. The
industry will benefit from the development of an indigenous downstream industry based on environmentally preferable, lower-GWP refrigerants – aligned with the Government’s vision of Make in India.
J: What is Honeywell’s energy efficiency plan to mitigate climate change?
RD: In the last few years, India has strongly focused on moving toward an energy efficient lifestyle – a lifestyle aimed at reducing the energy consumption of infrastructure facilities, machines, devices, products, services, business processes and transport. The Ministry of Power, through the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), has launched a number of energy efficiency initiatives in the areas of household lighting, commercial buildings, standards and labeling of appliances, demand side management in agriculture, municipalities, SMEs and large industries. (https://powermin.nic.in/en/content/energyefficiency). In tandem, Honeywell has been at the forefront of industry’s drive to develop safer, lower-GWP alternatives to oldergeneration CFC and HCFC refrigerants. We have developed a leading line of environmentally preferable refrigerant solutions based on next-generation hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) technology.
Our Solstice® portfolio of reduced- and low-GWP solutions based on Honeywell’s breakthrough HFO technology includes environmentally preferable refrigerant solutions for a variety of applications. Global adoption of Solstice products has resulted in reduction of more than 60 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to date, equal to eliminating emissions from more than 12 million cars. We estimate that increasing global adoption of Solstice products can reduce emissions by the equivalent of 475 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2025 – or the impact of removing 100 million cars from the road for one year. We are working with many customers to adopt our Solstice solutions across a wide variety of applications. Honeywell exceeded its first two public goals and has now established a third one; by 2019 we will reduce our global greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 10% per dollar of revenue from our 2013 levels. We have reduced our greenhouse gas intensity by more than 65% (2004-2017). Since 2010, our facilities have implemented more than 3,600 efficiency projects including building automation and controls, lighting and mechanical upgrades. We have increased our energy efficiency
by about 60% (2004-2017).
J: What are Honeywell’s refrigerant offerings for a greener, cleaner future?
RD: Honeywell offers next-generation, environmentally preferable HFO alternatives that are available today under our Solstice® product line as an option to support the Indian government to accelerate the transition from HCFCs, HFCs and other high-GWP materials. Honeywell’s Solstice N40 has become the world’s most widely requested, non-flammable and lowest-GWP replacement refrigerant for R-404A in the supermarket industry, with more than 8,500 installations across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Other refrigerant offerings include Solstice yf, an awardwinning HFO refrigerant designed for automotive air conditioning systems. It has a GWP of less than 1, which is 99.9 percent lower than the previous refrigerant HFC-134a, and is even lower than carbon dioxide (CO2), an alternative refrigerant with a GWP of 1. It is already used in more than 40 million vehicles. Solstice zd is a non-flammable HFO refrigerant with a GWP equal to 1, for use in low-pressure centrifugal chillers, which are most often used to cool large buildings. Solstice ze is an HFO refrigerant that can be used in equipment that traditionally used R-134a (i.e., chillers and refrigeration equipment).
We continue to invest significantly in R&D and are always working to develop new lower-GWP products to meet the need of our customers.
J: How do Honeywell’s HFOs compare with natural refrigerants for the refrigeration industry in terms of GWP, overall environmental impact, energy effi ciency and cost?
RD: Honeywell has developed a leading line of environmentally preferable refrigerant solutions based on its Solstice HFO technology. We work closely with the air conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers to advise them on emissions, energy efficiency, performance, and safety to help them select the best options to transition from HCFCs and HFCs to reduced- and low-GWP products for new equipment designs or retrofits. Compared to industrial chemicals (sometimes called ‘natural’) solutions, HFOs can help speed up the implementation of lower-GWP systems, particularly in developing countries at the start of their phaseout cycle. Industrial chemical solutions such as CO2 are not ‘drop-in’ solutions. While the raw material is less expensive to purchase, utilizing CO2 requires expensive new systems to be installed. The very high pressures of CO2 require special components that add costs, which is a disincentive to quick industry conversion to lower-GWP solutions. HFOs, on the other hand, are near drop-in solutions that are cost effective to adopt. HFO refrigerants are safer than ammonia and hydrocarbons and do not pose the same level of toxicity, flammability or explosion risks.
J: How is Honeywell supporting the Make in India drive?
RD: Honeywell has been supporting India’s industrial growth for nearly a century. We have exclusive partnerships with Indian manufacturers in HVAC, cooling solutions and pharmaceuticals. To further strengthen our Make in India footprint, our largest technology development and incubation center – Honeywell India Technology Center (HITC) – opened a new refrigerant lab and technology center last year in Gurgaon. HITC is supporting local and regional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in designing, incubating and testing new refrigerants, while helping them transition to lower-GWP alternatives. Kirloskar Chillers, for example, has selected Honeywell’s ultra-low GWP refrigerant R-1234ze for its new line of large central air-conditioning units, targeted for installation in industrial and commercial buildings.
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