The Ozone Hole: Chlorofluorocarbon

Topics: Chlorofluorocarbon, Ozone depletion, Montreal Protocol Pages: 3 (647 words) Published: December 19, 2012
alex engineering
New chlorofluorocarbons
Petrochemical industries
term 7


A chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is an organic compound that contains carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane and ethane. A common subclass are the hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which contain hydrogen, as well. They are also commonly known by the DuPont trade name Freon. The most common representative is dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12 or Freon-12). Many CFCs have been widely used as refrigerants, propellants (in aerosol applications), and solvents. The manufacture of suchcompounds has been phased out by the Montreal Protocol because they contribute to ozone depletion.

Applications exploit the low toxicity, low reactivity, and low flammability of the CFCs and HCFCs. Every permutation of fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen based on methane and ethane has been examined and most have been commercialized. Furthermore, many examples are known for higher numbers of carbon as well as related compounds containing bromine. Uses include refrigerants, blowing agents, propellants in medicinal applications, and degreasing solvents. Environmental impacts

As previously discussed, CFCs were phased out via the Montreal Protocol due to their part in ozone depletion. However, the atmospheric impacts of CFCs are not limited to its role as an active ozone reducer. This anthropogenic compound is also a greenhouse gas, with a much higher potential to enhance the greenhouse effect than CO2.

Infrared bands trap heat from escaping earth's atmosphere. In the case of CFCs, the strongest of these bands are located at the spectral region – referred to as an atmospheric window due to the relative transparency of the atmosphere within this region.

The strength of CFC bands and the unique susceptibility of the atmosphere, at which the compound absorbs and emits radiation, are two factors that...
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