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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

R-134a emissions from vehicles.

We report the first study of R-134a (also known as HFC-134a and CF3CFH2) refrigerant leakage from air conditioning (AC) systems of modern vehicles. Twenty-eight light duty vehicles from five manufacturers (Ford, Toyota, Daimler Chrysler, General Motors, and Honda) were tested according to the USEPA (Federal) extended diurnal test procedure using the Sealed Housing for Evaporative Determination (SHED) apparatus. All tests were conducted using stationary vehicles with the motor and air conditioning system turned off. R-134a was measured using gas chromatography (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FID). All vehicles exhibited measurable R-134a leakage over the 2-day diurnal test. Leak rates of R-134a ranged from 0.01 to 0.36 g/day with an average of 0.07+/-0.07 g/day. When combined with leakage associated with vehicle operation, servicing, and disposal we estimate that the lifetime average R-134a emission rate from an AC equipped vehicle is 0.41+/-0.27 g/day (the majority of emissions are associated with vehicle servicing and disposal). Assuming that the average vehicle travels 10 000 miles per year we estimate that the global warming impact of R-134a leakage from an AC equipped vehicle is approximately 4-5% of that of the CO2 emitted by the vehicle. The results are discussed with respect to the contribution of vehicle emissions to global climate change.[1]


  1. R-134a emissions from vehicles. Siegl, W.O., Wallington, T.J., Guenther, M.T., Henney, T., Pawlak, D., Duffy, M. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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