Why Mercedes-Benz has opted for air-conditioning systems based on CO2?

in these days, In that it speaks to both bad smoke, pollution, global warming, etcetera, etcetera, the fact that we’re talking about air-conditioning systems based on CO2 could ring a bell even negative. What is it? Or a lot less. We’re not going to go into too much detail. The most important thing is to understand that an air conditioning system is based on the physical changes that occur in a fluid that circulates through tubes. This fluid – in this case, CO2 – is not projected by the aerators of the air-conditioning system, of course, but with time, yes, there is a propensity to leak, that gas is released to the atmosphere with what it entails. For that reason environmental regulations are not only stringent with emissions of thermal engines, and the energy efficiency (which is directly related to the emission of greenhouse gases), but also with the fluid that is used in air-conditioning systems (used in homes and in our cars).

Mercedes-Benz trust in the CO2 as the gas most suitable for your air conditioning systems, by having the lowest potential risks to the global warming and not ignite.

it Happens that the fluid, the refrigerant, most commonly used to date in the systems of air conditioning of our cars, the R134a, will be banned from 2017. The European Union has imposed more stringent limits on the use of this type of refrigerant gas, depending on the potential of these to contribute to global warming in a given period of time (generally one hundred years). As there does not exist a metric is accurate for that potential, is used to a particular gas as a reference, usually the CO2 and this value is defined as GWP (Global Warming Potential).

In this way, if the CO2 is the basic unit, the potential 1 impact on global warming in 100 years, the limits imposed by the European Union will be in the GWP 150. The R134a used to date has a higher potential to 1,300. That means, obviously, that this gas must not be used.


Mercedes-Benz has pressed the European Union to delay the entry into force of this rule, with the danger of fire in gas that was supposed to be the most suitable to replace the gas that will be banned in 2017.

The solution most use it came from the hand of another refrigerant gas, the R1234yf, with a GWP very low (about 4); the desirable qualities of the gas that is to be used in a air conditioning equipment; some properties very similar to those of the gas it replaces, which would facilitate the adaptation of the existing systems; and industrial capacity sufficient to produce it in volumes that are commensurate with the market demand. But it turns out that Mercedes-Benz believes that this solution is dangerous.

Mercedes-Benz has pressed the European Union for more time, enough to adapt their air-conditioning systems to a new gas, which may not necessarily be the R1234yf. The reason put forward is none other than the risk of fire due to the flammability of this gas, especially in the event of an accident, and in contact with fluids and parts that are at very high temperatures in the engine.

Mercedes-Benz also had found the ideal solution, use CO2, a gas with a GWP even more low (1), since that is the reference used for this potential). The problem is that the adaptation of all of your air conditioning systems will not be available in 2017, the deadline imposed by the European Union, although it will have achieved premiere in two models: the Mercedes S-Class and the new generation of the Mercedes Class E.


CO2 therefore, it is a gas more suitable in environmental terms. The problem of this gas is that it requires a completely new design of the ducts and the systems that make up an air conditioning equipment, so that the adaptation of the existing systems is not possible, or is very complex. According to Mercedes-Benz, air-conditioning systems based on CO2 will work to 100 bars (that is a pressure ten times higher than that of many current systems).

The temporary solution has been found in a technique that through the use of argon in certain points reduces the risk of fire of R1234yf. In this way, the air conditioning systems of its entire range will be used temporarily solution until Mercedes-Benz can ensure the release of the new systems based on CO2. From 2017, all of the range Mercedes-Benz will be moving progressively to the air-based CO2.

Curious, isn’t it?

Source: Mercedes-Benz
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