DuPont led global research to gain scientific understanding of the environmental impact of CFCs, commonly used for refrigeration and air conditioning, among other applications. DuPont then led industry in the development of a series of alternatives for use in new and existing equipment. The overwhelming challenge was to invent products that could be used in existing air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, avoiding the societal disruption and expense of developing wholly new technology. In the United States alone, that equipment base totaled more than $135 billion including 150 million automobile and small truck air conditioning systems, 80,000 building chillers and 69 million home refrigerators.
DuPont commercialized the first of its non-ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs), DuPont™ Suva® refrigerants, in January 1991. Since then, the company has launched 19 alternatives and more than 375 patents. These environmentally acceptable alternatives are safe and energy efficient.
This is the fourth National Medal of Technology Award affiliated with DuPont in 13 years. In 1990, DuPont received the award for pioneering the development of high-performance polymers such as nylon, DuPont™ Neoprene® rubber and engineering plastics. DuPont scientist George Levitt was honored in 1993 for the development of sulfonylureas, environmentally friendly herbicides. In 1996, DuPont scientist Stephanie Kwolek was recognized for the discovery and develop
Contact: Anthony Farina