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Published:  10 May, 2021

In 1989, The Montreal Protocol was agreed in order to phase out the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS). This covered CFCs including refrigerant gases such as R12, which was extensively used in car A/C systems and is now banned. HFC R134a became the substitute.
In 2007, the Kyoto Protocol created the F-Gas Regulations; the objective being to further prevent and reduce the emissions of fluorinated gases due to their global warming potential (GWP). Although R134a is not an ODS, it does have a high GWP of 1430, meaning it is 1430 times worse than CO2 for global warming for the same mass. At this time, all new vehicles in the EU were banned from using refrigerant gases with a GWP over 150. The most common gas now used in new cars is HFO R1234yf – with a GWP of 4. R134a can still be used with older cars that originally used R134a.
The phase-out of certain F-gases, including R134a, and the phase in of more environmentally friendly refrigerants, such as R1234yf, has led to supply chain issues. The reduction of availability of R134a supply and the immediate need for R1234yf, has made both of these gases expensive. This has led to a large global problem of counterfeit gases claiming to be R134a or R1234yf. These counterfeit gases can be flammable and toxic, causing potential danger to personnel and equipment.
Status Scientific Control is a UK company with over three decades of experience in manufacturing and supplying safety-critical gas detection equipment for hazardous and safe area applications, Status Scientific is now bringing this expertise to the automotive industry. The Mentor Automotive Refrigerant Identifier products are indispensable tools for the automotive AC system servicing and maintenance industry.

Features include:

  •  A single tool accurately analyses both R-134a and R-1234yf for purity
  •  The portable Mentor is independently certified to SAE J2912
  •  The integrated Mentor is independently certified to SAE J2927
  •  All models provide both VDA or SAE outputs
  •  Minimal loss of refrigerant during test
  •  LCD graphics display on the portable version
  •  USB communications for firmware updates
  •  Bluetooth App to save test results to wirelessly print to a PC
  •  Eight languages available.

Providing simple and accurate refrigerant analysis, the Mentor is a user-friendly, cost-effective R-1234yf and R-134a refrigerant purity analyser. Due to the significant influx of illegal refrigerant blends, the Mentor is an essential tool for garage owners for screening refrigerant prior to carrying out work, reclamation and refill. To prevent cross-contamination of expensive refrigerant gas, cross contamination of other vehicles, damage to expensive service and recovery equipment and to comply with the F-Gas regulations, refrigerant from the A/C system or cylinder must first be analysed to check for purity.
If cross-contamination happens, a garage’s refrigerant gas supply cannot be used, replacements typically costing £400 - £600 per bottle. Recovery equipment can be damaged, requiring expensive cleaning, repair or scrappage and If subsequent customer vehicles are cross contaminated, this can lead to damage of its A/C system and prosecution of the garage.
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