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MERCEDES DEMONSTRATES FIRST AUTOMOTIVE USE OF CFC-FREE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM; NEW REFRIGERANT TO REPLACE OZONE-DEPLETING CFCS

 MERCEDES DEMONSTRATES FIRST AUTOMOTIVE USE OF CFC-FREE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM; NEW REFRIGERANT TO REPLACE OZONE-DEPLETING CFCS
 NEW ORLEANS, La., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Mercedes-Benz:
 The hottest topic at this year's Mobile Air Conditioning Society's Annual Convention is the new environmentally compatible R134a refrigerant, now used in nine Mercedes models, that will soon replace ozone-depleting CFC-R12 compounds commonly used in most automobiles and trucks today.
 Mercedes-Benz was the first in the auto industry to use a chlorine-free refrigerant in its air conditioning systems when it introduced the 1992 S-Class, SL roadsters and the 400E and 500E models last October.
 In addition to eroding the earth's protective ozone layer, chlorofluorocarbon compounds, commonly known as CFCs, have been identified as constituting about 24 percent of heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases in the atmosphere.
 "CFCs have been widely used in the past since they are chemically stable, non-toxic and non-combustible, but their negatives have made it necessary to develop replacement compounds," said Robert Crolic, Southern Regional vice president of Mercedes-Benz of North America. "Mercedes-Benz engineers made special efforts to design the new S-Class sedans with environmentally compatible materials, such as recyclable plastic components and water-based paint," he added.
 The new Mercedes cars use an air conditioning refrigerant called R134a, which replaces the chlorine-based R12. Currently about four times more expensive than R12, R134a also works at a higher operating pressure, necessitating stronger hoses and fittings as well as redesigned seals.
 In the past, CFC compounds have also played a key role in the foaming process used to form many plastic foam products. At Mercedes-Benz, materials for head restraints, seats and interior panels are now formed with water vapor. In addition, an aqueous emulsion is used as a mold-separating and cleaning agent instead of the commonly used CFCs.
 Special technicians from Mercedes and other manufacturers were on hand today to explain new service procedures to the more than 1,500 Mobile Air Conditioning Society's service and installation members.
 The theme of this year's Mobile Air Conditioning Society Annual Convention and Trade Show is "CFC-12 to HFC-134a: Rebirth of an Industry." Four days of training and technical sessions are planned to help shop owners and technicians manage the changes they face as a result of the industry's move from ozone-depleting refrigerants to alternatives.
 -0- 1/24/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Ussery of Mercedes-Benz, 904-443-2421/ CO: Mercedes-Benz ST: Florida IN: AUT SU: PDT


SC -- NYON1 -- 3117 01/24/92 08:05 EST
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Date:Jan 24, 1992
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