Skip to content

R-134a Gas Spotlight

EFC Gases & Advanced Materials > Blog > R-134a Gas Spotlight

R-134a: Keeping the World Cool

Our customers have told us they need a domestic source for R-134a (also known as 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane and CH2FCF3), and we have responded.

The primary use of R-134a is as a substitute for chlorofluorocarbon (CFC-12) products in refrigeration (NAIC 33415), especially in automobile air conditioners. According to a report by, “The global industrial refrigeration system market is expected to reach $24.48 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 4.78% from $18.49 billion in 2018.” As the market for refrigeration grows, so will the market for refrigerants. R-134a is also used in magnesium production as an SF6 replacement and is paired with SF6 for laser machining of silicon.

Since April 2017, however, imports of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane from China have been subject to an antidumping order and a tariff of 3.7 percent ad valorem (that is, 3.7 percent of the value of the goods), increasing the importance of reliable sources like Electronic Fluorocarbons. Because of that antidumping order, local sourcing of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane is more reliable. We are proud to be sourcing American produced R134a.

The Advantages and Uses of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane

R-134a has several advantages over earlier refrigerants; for example, a reduced effect on global warming. It is also relatively nontoxic to humans; in a highly purified form, 1,1,1,2-tetrafluroethane is used as a propellant in some medical sprays and inhalers (NAICS 325998).

According to a 2016 report by the U.S. International Trade Commission, “In 2015, 28.0 percent of combined U.S. shipments of R‐134a (domestic and imported) were to the automotive aftermarket, 19.3 percent to the foam expansion and propellant market, 12.8 percent to automotive OEMs, 5.6 percent to the stationary aftermarket, 2.9 percent to the stationary OEM market, and 31.4 percent to ‘other’ uses.”

The Who, How, and Why of Refrigeration

In 1835, Jacob Perkins of Newburyport, Massachusetts, received a patent for the first vapor-compression refrigeration cycle, using liquefied ammonia. He is known as the Father of Refrigeration.

The underlying principle of refrigeration is that heat always flows toward cool. An evaporator forces the heated air or liquid into the refrigeration system. The heat is transferred to the refrigerant. The heated refrigerant first flows through a compressor and then to a condenser that transfers the heat to a cooling medium like water or air. The cooled refrigerant circles around again to continue the process of heat transfer by conduction—transfer by contact between substances.

In 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier earned his title as the Father of Modern Air Conditioning, His innovative electrical air conditioner was intended for a printing plant where temperature and humidity affected consistency and productivity. The Carrier Corporation is currently one of the largest manufacturers of air conditioners globally.

In 1928 Freon was discovered and used as a safer alternative to ammonia. But by 1992, scientists began searching for an even safer refrigerant: 1,1,1,2-tetrafluroethane was developed to fit the need.

The Role of Electronic Fluorocarbons

We want to be your go-to domestic source for R134a. We offer a variety of cylinder sizes, from disposable to HTON, and packaging options.

Electronic Fluorocarbons keeps up with the latest developments and requirements of the refrigeration industry so that you can meet all of your customer’s needs. We offer specialty chemicals at up to 99.999% purity. Please call 1-888-924-3371 or email us at for more information about 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane and our full range of