Kaneohe man develops eco-friendly refrigerant

Richard Maruya
Richard Maruya

By Howard Dashefsky - bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) - A Kaneohe man may hold one of the keys to unlocking the growing problem of global warming. So why is a federal agency that's commending him for his work, keeping his product off the market?

For Richard Maruya, tinkering in the garage is much more than a household hobby. He has developed a refrigerant for cars and appliances that independent testing has confirmed not only works better in smaller amounts, but is eco-friendly. He came up with the idea using store bought materials.

"The ingredients, if you went to any gas company are readily available," said Maruya. "But it's like making a cocktail, it's how you put it together."

He finally landed on the perfect blend with the help of a laboratory on the mainland. Today his product "HCR-188-C" is working. He has it in his truck, in his air conditioner and in his freezer.

"What I did was I found something good for the environment, is great for the ozone, it's climate friendly, and it saves energy," said Maruya. "So I don't know what's the problem."

One potential problem is that the mixture could be flamable. It is a concern Maruya, and his supporters at several independent labs, and even Greenpeace say minute at best.

"I have to persuade the EPA and corporate America that maybe this is the best thing we have," he said.

It might just be that the Environmental Protection Agency already knows it. Last April it was that same very agency that recognized him for his work and yet he is still trying to gain their approval.

"It ruffled a lot of feathers in Washington D.C.," said Maruya. "People in San Francisco say we didn't approve this award, we're just recognizing him for what he accomplished."

So what does this mean to corporate America? Playing with ice, Maruya keeps his cool but are these billion dollar companies losing theirs?

"I don't know, but I do have the product," he said. "I have the patents for it whether I reap the the benefits or not. But it's out there."

"They just cannot comprehend the fact that someone out of nowhere and beat them. That's the bottom line," he added.

Spending more than ten years and all of his money perfecting his refrigerant Maruya waits as the EPA says it is still evaluating his product.