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Embracing the Future: Our Path to Sustainable Thermal Management Innovation

By Joseph T. Martinko

Embracing the Future: Our Path to Sustainable Thermal Management Innovation

By Joseph T. Martinko

Published 01-23-24

Submitted by The Chemours Company

Two people wearing blue lab coats in a lab
Our team collaborating to deliver sustainable thermal management innovation at our Chemours Discovery Hub in Newark, Delaware.

The arctic blast that we've seen in the U.S. over the past week is a prime example of the competing challenges we face in addressing climate change: we must meet increased demand for high-performance heating and cooling amid extreme temperatures while minimizing our environmental impact.

This intersection of performance and sustainability is where my business and the broader HVACR industry sits—delivering climate-friendly, energy efficient, safe solutions for everything from the cold chain to residential heat pumps and even industrial waste heat recovery. As I travel to Chicago to join HVAC leaders from across the value chain at the annual AHR Expo, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far we’ve come and how excited I am to share our progress and vision for the future.

Chemours manufactures a portfolio of innovative thermal management solutions, including Opteon™ refrigerants, our family of low global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) and blends. Aside from enabling many aspects of modern life, these refrigerants are uniquely capable of meeting growing demands on heating and cooling while both enabling energy efficiency and circularity benefits—areas where many alternatives fall short.

Driving Sustainable Innovation

Tackling climate change demands action, which is why we are not interested in maintaining the status quo. Instead, we’re advancing innovation to meet the market needs of today and the opportunities of tomorrow with minimal impact on our planet. In fact, last year we unveiled our three-horizon innovation roadmap at the AHR Expo, which includes commercial adoption, new optimized blend collaboration, and next-generation product development. Over the past 12-months, our team has worked tirelessly—alongside industry—to advance each horizon and continue to raise the bar for sustainability in our industry.

Horizon One: Adoption This horizon represents our current reality and focuses on advancing the commercial adoption of our existing Opteon™ XL and XP series. These products balance top-tier performance with sustainability and ease of transition, offering non- or mildly flammable refrigerants with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and low GWP. To date, we’re seeing strong market adoption (e.g., professional ice rinks, US beverage distributor, and EU supermarket) and are expanding our capacity, conducting industry trainings, and supporting codes and standards efforts to ease and facilitate adoption of this safe, proven technology across applications.

Horizon Two: Innovative Blends

The second horizon, which will run through 2025, leverages partnerships with customers, suppliers, and national labs to identify optimized refrigerant blends. It strives toward better performance and lower GWPs to ensure our products anticipate customer needs and remain steps ahead of evolving regulations. Our teams are working hand-in-hand with OEMs and industry associations to understand the critical characteristics necessary to deliver the solutions our customers need across regions, climates, and applications.

Horizon Three: Next Generation

Last, but certainly not least, the third horizon includes the development of a next-generation thermal management solution. This technology is intended to deliver even greater value for customers, exceed industry standards, and surpass long-term regulatory requirements. The refrigerant will need to strike the ideal balance between performance, safety, degradation profile, and environmental impact. By leveraging strategic partnerships, the latest technological advances, and parallel workstreams, we are safely and methodically accelerating innovation. We remain confident in our ability to make these solutions available for customer qualification in 2025, ushering in a new era of environmental stewardship and technological progress.

We Cannot Do It Alone

While there is still plenty of work to be done, I could not be more proud or excited about our progress against this bold roadmap. As we move ahead, we recognize that our initiatives are part of a larger, industry journey toward sustainable progress and that we cannot do this alone. I invite each of you—our customers, partners, and industry peers—to join us. I look forward to helping shape a more sustainable thermal management future alongside you!

Joe Martinko is the President of Thermal & Specialized Solutions (TSS) at Chemours. TSS is a market leader in producing refrigerants, thermal management solutions, propellants, blowing agents, and specialty solvents. Building on deep knowledge of refrigerants dating back to the commercial introduction of Freon™ in 1930, Chemours TSS business is leading the way in the development of sustainable technologies like Opteon™, one of the world’s lowest global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant brands.

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The Chemours Company

The Chemours Company

The Chemours Company (NYSE: CC) is a global leader in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials providing its customers with solutions in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations. We deliver customized solutions with a wide range of industrial and specialty chemicals products for markets, including coatings, plastics, refrigeration and air conditioning, transportation, semiconductor and consumer electronics, general industrial, and oil and gas. Our flagship products are sold under prominent brands such as Ti-Pure™, Opteon™, Freon™, Teflon™, Viton™, Nafion™, and Krytox™. The company has approximately 6,200 employees and 28 manufacturing sites serving approximately 2,700 customers in approximately 110 countries. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC.

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