The Game-Changing Aerosol Propellant for Respiratory Care

The Game-Changing Aerosol Propellant for Respiratory Care

Honeywell Solstice® Air, the next-generation of fluorine chemistry that’s helping pharmaceutical manufacturers get a step closer in meeting their low-carbon emissions goals.

Did you know that there are as many as 384 million people who suffer chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 339 million children and adults that are asthmatic?1,2

Yes, you read that right. Out of that number of people, a very large percentage are currently using pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) to treat their symptoms. While crucial for patient care, the aerosol propellant used in pMDIs is a major contributor to the global carbon footprint of respiratory care. As a result, finding a better alternative has become key.

Honeywell’s Solstice® Air (HFO-1234ze, cGMP) is a breakthrough technology for pMDIs. It's an alternative medical propellant that can aid in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of these lifesaving treatments.

Most pMDIs use a substance called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as a propellant to help deliver the dose of medication needed by patients. HFCs are commonly used compounds that can have high global warming potentials (GWPs).

Due to increasing concern about the significant impact that high GWP greenhouse gases can have in climate change, pharmaceutical manufacturers are actively seeking alternative solutions that deliver the same level of patient care while reducing carbon emissions.

As part of our Solstice® portfolio, Honeywell’s Solstice® Air (HFO-1234ze cGMP) can help pharmaceutical manufacturers meet their goals by providing the following game-changing benefits:

  • Helps Meet Environmental Regulations
  • An Environmentally-Preferable Alternative
  • A Non-Flammable Propellant (per EC Testing Method A11 and ASTM E681)

Concerns around the environmental impact that HFCs and previous generations of propellants have led to evolving government regulations such as the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and the Montreal Protocol.

These regulations aim to phase down the use of high-GWP HFCs. In turn, this impacts manufacturers like pharmaceutical companies that rely on those particular propellant substances to develop treatments for patients with respiratory conditions including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Solstice Air is the next generation hydrofluoroolefin(HFO)-based propellant technology. It’s the only next-generation technology that’s not currently subject to quota-based allocation under the recent AIM Act of 2020.

Unlike other HFC propellants such as 134a, 227ea and 152a, Solstice Air has a near-zero GWP. The lower the GWP a gas has, the less it warms the Earth over a period of time and vice versa3. Solstice Air has 99.9% less GWP than propellants currently used in inhaled respiratory medicines.

It is also the only non-flammable (per EC Testing Method A11 and ASTM E681), low-GWP propellant available and in clinical development today for pMDIs4. This means that it may be a safer alternative as it does not exhibit vapor flame limits under standard test conditions.

What’s the potential environmental impact?

Since there is a great number of asthmatic and COPD patients relying on pressurized metered dose inhalers to treat their symptoms, the estimated impact from transitioning away from high global warming potential propellants can be very significant.

Solstice® Air, a hydrofluoroolefin with a GWP close to 1, could avoid the release of high global warming potential molecules equivalent to more than 16.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year.

Honeywell’s Solstice® Air is an alternative technology as a medical propellant that is available and in clinical development today for pMDIs. It is one of the many offerings within our Solstice® porfolio that aims to deliver solutions that help customers lower their greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency without sacrificing end-product performance.

Current samples of Solstice® Air are available for testing. Solstice® Air will be produced and supplied from our U.S. based manufacturing facility.

Honeywell continues to leverage years of experience and continuous research and development. We are dedicated to improving environmental and social outcomes for our customers.

Contact us to learn more about how Solstice® Air can help you meet your sustainability goals.

1The Global Asthma Network, The Global Asthma Report 2018

2World Health Organization, The top 10 causes of death

3U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Understanding Global Warming Potentials

4Test Report: Stresau Laboratory, Inc. for Honeywell International (Laboratory Reports 10093A and 10152A).