Daikin Offers Worldwide Free Access to Patents for Equipment Using Next-Generation Refrigerant

OSAKA, Japan; WASHINGTON, D.C. and BRUSSELS, Belgium — Daikin Industries, Ltd. Is now offering companies worldwide free access to 93 patents, to encourage companies to develop and commercialize air conditioning, cooling and heat pump equipment that use HFC-32 as a single-component refrigerant. Daikin’s action is aimed at encouraging manufacturers worldwide to adopt sustainable comfort cooling and heating technologies that use HFC-32, a refrigerant with a lower global warming impact than commonly used refrigerants.

HFC-32 (difluoromethane) is a next-generation refrigerant that addresses a range of environmental considerations in a balanced manner. It is a non-ozone depleting substance, is energy efficient, affordable, is easier to recycle and has a global-warming potential that is one-third of that of R-410A, the most commonly used refrigerant. These advantages make it the most balanced and promising next-generation refrigerant solution to reduce the environmental footprint of residential and commercial air-conditioning, cooling and heat pump equipment.

The avoided carbon emission benefits of a transition to HFC-32 would be significant. If all presently used R-410A refrigerant is replaced by HFC-32, the total CO2 equivalent impact of HFCs could be reduced by up to 24 percent in 2030, compared to business as usual scenarios.
There is no patent that covers the HFC-32 chemical itself and it is readily available from suppliers other than Daikin. This free access to certain patents allows manufacturers to utilize Daikin’s technologies for air-conditioning, cooling and heat pump equipment using HFC-32 single-component refrigerant and encourages the global industry to grow responsibly as well as meet rising demand.

Conversion from high-GWP refrigerants is already underway. Last year, the European Union enacted the revised F-gas regulation* to reduce the global-warming impact of refrigerants. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of revising its regulations that establish acceptable alternatives for ozone depleting and high GWP refrigerants. In addition, Japan’s Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons, which came into force in April 2015, encourages conversion from high-GWP refrigerants.

Companies interested in obtaining access to these patents should contact Daikin Legal.

*EU Regulation 517/2014 of 16 April 2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases.