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Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) & hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)
1) Organic compound - Carbon - Chlorine - Fluorine 2) Produced as a volatile derivative of - Methane - Ethane - Formulae CClmF4-m & C2ClmF6-m (m is nonzero)

3) A family of non-toxic 4) Inert chemical compounds bound tightly to form inert molecules 5) Invented in the late 1920s & early 1930s as a safer alternative to : - Sulfur dioxide & ammonia refrigerants 6) Some commercial names of CFCs - Freon , Algofrene, Arcton, Daiflon, Eskimo, FCC, Flon, Flugene, Forane, Fridohna, Genetron, Isceon, Isotron, Kaiser,Ledon, Racon, & Ucon.

7) Used worldwide in - Aerosol sprays (banned in the U.S. & a few northern European countries in the mid-70s) - Coolants in refrigeration system & air conditioners - Solvents to clean electronic components (eg washing micro-electronic chips) - Blowing agents in the production of plastic foams

8) Chosen because - Low toxicity - Nonflammable - Noncorrosive - Nonreactive with other chemical species - Desirable thermal conductivity & boiling point

9) Each kind of CFC has a different formula such as - CFC 11: CCl3F (Trichlorofluoromethane) - CFC 12: CCl2F2 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) - CFC 22: CHClF2 (Chlorodifluoromethane) - CFC 113: C2Cl3F3 (Trichlorotrifluoromethane)

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
1) A common subclass of Chlorofluorocarbon
2) Contain - Carbon - Hydrogen - Chlorine - Fluorine - Formulae CClmFnH4-m-n & C2ClxFyH6-x-y,

(m, n, x, & y are nonzero)

3) Not found anywhere in nature

4) HCFC production increased after countries agreed to phase out the use of CFCs. 5) However, most HCFCs are broken down in the lowest part of the atmosphere which pose a much smaller risk to the ozone layer.

6) Also a very potent greenhouse gas


ultra-violet radiation from the Sun is absorbed by stratospheric ozone and, doesn't enter the troposphere. ultra-violet light is too weak to breakdown the CFC's present there However, significant amounts entered the stratosphere where the ultraviolet radiation is strong enough to break them down into very reactive chlorine and fluorine radical species.

These radicals are capable of destroying ozone


Under natural conditions, ozone levels are constan t since they are both formed & destroyed by ultraviolet light. However, chlorine radicals (Cl) react with ozone simply to So as ozone concentrations destroy it. They are increase, the very efficient amount of ozone destroyed at removing also increases. ozone because they act as catalysts. This means that they are not consumed by the reaction but are recycled and can continue to react with other ozone molecules to destroy them as well.

Molecular chlorine (Cl2) is a stable molecule which does not react with the ozone. However, when the CFC reach the ozone layer, 2 reactions happen. The first involves homolytic breakdown of CFC molecules under the influence of ultraviolet light CCl2F2 CCl2F2 + Cl

This reaction produces highly reactive chlorine free radical The atom may recombine with its original molecule or may attack a molecule of the ozone


1) Choose CFC - free products for your household
2) If you own or work for a business, ensure that your company supplies and products are as free of CFCs as possible

4) Attempts have been made to develop compounds which have low ozone depletion potential (ODP) to replace CFCs as refrigerants, aerosol propellants and solvents. Possible alternatives for CFCs include:
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCHCs) such as CF3CHCl2 They break down more quickly in the atmosphere. Though they have a lower percentage of chlorine and hence a lower ozone depletion potential than CFCs, they could damage ozone if overuse.

Hydrofluorocarbons(HCFs) such as CF3CH2F They have no chlorine and thus are "ozone safe". However, safety question on toxicity is still unsolved. Hydrocarbons such as butane and propane They are cheap and readily available. As they contain no chlorine, they are "ozone safe". However, they are flammable and poisonous.

Water and steam They are effective for some cleaning applications and thus can replace some CFCs as solvents in cleaning.

5) Installation of recovering and recycling units to recycle CFCs from used refrigeration systems and motor vehicle air conditioners to control the venting of CFCs into the atmosphere. 6) World wide help Hong Kong joined the international effort to protect the ozone layer by becoming a party to the Protocol and introduced the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (OLPO) in 1989. The ordinance empowers the government to control the consumption of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances through import/export licensing control.

As early as 1978, CFC aerosol propellants were banned in some countries like Canada and United States. The first international effort to protect the ozone layer came in January 1978 when 24 countries signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer which called for a cut back of the CFC production in stages. The Protocol was amended in 1990 when 93 countries pledged to stop all production of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances by 2000. Since then, many industrialized nations have agreed to a complete phase out as early as 1995.

Done by, Thava Muthasha Ho Min Yen Geetha Sarika Nashwa