Chlorofluorocarbon

Chlorofluorocarbon

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Encyclopedia
A chlorofluorocarbon is an organic compound
Organic compound
An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the...

 that contains carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

, chlorine
Chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

, and fluorine
Fluorine
Fluorine is the chemical element with atomic number 9, represented by the symbol F. It is the lightest element of the halogen column of the periodic table and has a single stable isotope, fluorine-19. At standard pressure and temperature, fluorine is a pale yellow gas composed of diatomic...

, produced as a volatile
Volatility (chemistry)
In chemistry and physics, volatility is the tendency of a substance to vaporize. Volatility is directly related to a substance's vapor pressure. At a given temperature, a substance with higher vapor pressure vaporizes more readily than a substance with a lower vapor pressure.The term is primarily...

 derivative of methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

 and ethane
Ethane
Ethane is a chemical compound with chemical formula C2H6. It is the only two-carbon alkane that is an aliphatic hydrocarbon. At standard temperature and pressure, ethane is a colorless, odorless gas....

. A common subclass are the hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which contain hydrogen, as well. They are also commonly known by the DuPont
DuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

 trade name
Trade name
A trade name, also known as a trading name or a business name, is the name which a business trades under for commercial purposes, although its registered, legal name, used for contracts and other formal situations, may be another....

 Freon. The most common representative is dichlorodifluoromethane
Dichlorodifluoromethane
Dichlorodifluoromethane , is a colorless gas, and usually sold under the brand name Freon-12, is a chlorofluorocarbon halomethane , used as a refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant. Complying with the Montreal Protocol, its manufacture was banned in the United States along with many other...

 (R-12 or Freon-12). Many CFCs have been widely used as refrigerants, propellants (in aerosol applications), and solvents. The manufacture of such compounds has been phased out by the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

 because they contribute to ozone depletion
Ozone depletion
Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since the late 1970s: a steady decline of about 4% per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere , and a much larger springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions. The latter phenomenon...

.

Structure, properties, production



As in simpler alkanes, carbon in the CFCs and the HCFCs is tetrahedral. Since the fluorine and chlorine atoms differ greatly in size from hydrogen and from each other, the methane derived CFCs deviate from perfect tetrahedral symmetry.

The physical properties of the CFCs and HCFCs are tunable by changes in the number and identity of the halogen atoms. In general they are volatile, but less so than parent alkane. The decreased volatility is attributed to the molecular polarity induced by the halides and the polarizability of halides, which induces intermolecular interactions. Thus, methane boils at −161 °C whereas the fluoromethanes boil between −51.7 (CF2H2) and −128 °C (CF4). The CFCs have still higher boiling points because the chloride is even more polarizable than fluoride. Because of their polarity, the CFCs are useful solvents. The CFCs are far less flammable than methane, in part because they contain fewer C-H bonds and in part because, in the case of the chlorides and bromides, the released halides quench the free radicals that sustain flames.

The densities of CFCs are invariably higher than the corresponding alkanes. In general the density of these compounds correlates with the number of chlorides.

CFCs and HCFCs are usually produced by halogen exchange starting from chlorinated methanes and ethanes. Illustrative is the synthesis of chlorodifluoromethane from chloroform
Chloroform
Chloroform is an organic compound with formula CHCl3. It is one of the four chloromethanes. The colorless, sweet-smelling, dense liquid is a trihalomethane, and is considered somewhat hazardous...

:
HCCl3 + 2 HF → HCF2Cl + 2 HCl

The brominated derivatives are generated by free-radical reactions of the chlorofluorocarbons, replacing C-H bonds with C-Br bonds. The production of the anesthetic 2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane
Halothane
Halothane is an inhalational general anesthetic. Its IUPAC name is 2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane. It is the only inhalational anesthetic agent containing a bromine atom; there are several other halogenated anesthesia agents which lack the bromine atom and do contain the fluorine and...

 ("halothane") is illustrative:
CF3CH2Cl + Br2 → CF3CHBrCl + HBr

Reactions


The most important reaction of the CFCs is the photo-induced scission of a C-Cl bond:
CCl3F → CCl2F. + Cl.

The chlorine atom, written often as Cl., behaves very differently from the chlorine molecule (Cl2). The radical Cl. is long-lived in the upper atmosphere, where it catalyzes the conversion of ozone into O2. Ozone absorbs UV-radiation better than O2 does, so its depletion allows more of this high energy radiation to reach the Earth's surface. Bromine
Bromine
Bromine ") is a chemical element with the symbol Br, an atomic number of 35, and an atomic mass of 79.904. It is in the halogen element group. The element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard, in 1825–1826...

 atoms are even more efficient catalysts, hence brominated CFCs are also regulated.

Applications


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 agent
Blowing agent
A blowing agent is a substance which is capable of producing a cellular structure via a foaming process in a variety of materials that undergo hardening or phase transition, such as polymers, plastics, and metals. They are typically applied when the blown material is in a liquid stage...

s, propellants in medicinal applications, and degreasing solvents.

Billions of kilograms of chlorodifluoromethane are produced annually as a precursor to tetrafluoroethylene
Tetrafluoroethylene
Tetrafluoroethylene is a chemical compound with the formula C2F4. It is the simplest alkene fluorocarbon. This gaseous species is used primarily in the industrial preparation of polymers.-Properties:...

, the monomer that is converted into Teflon.

Classes of compounds, nomenclature

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): when derived from methane and ethane these compounds have the formulae CClmF4-m and C2ClmF6-m, where m is nonzero.
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs): when derived from methane and ethane these compounds have the formulae CClmFnH4-m-n and C2ClxFyH6-x-y, where m, n, x, and y are nonzero.
  • Bromochlorofluorocarbons and bromofluorocarbons have formulae similar to the CFCs and HCFCs but also bromine.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC's): when derived from methane, ethane, propane
    Propane
    Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

    , and butane
    Butane
    Butane is a gas with the formula C4H10 that is an alkane with four carbon atoms. The term may refer to any of two structural isomers, or to a mixture of them: in the IUPAC nomenclature, however, butane refers only to the unbranched n-butane isomer; the other one being called "methylpropane" or...

    , these compounds have the respective formulae CFmH4-m, C2FmH6-m, C3FmH8-m, and C4FmH10-m, where m is nonzero.

Commercial names


Freon is DuPont's brand name for CFCs, HCFCs and related compounds. Other commercial names from around the world are Algofrene, Arcton, Asahiflon, Daiflon, Eskimo, FCC, Flon, Flugene, Forane, Fridohna, Frigen, Frigedohn, Genetron, Isceon, Isotron, Kaiser, Kaltron, Khladon, Ledon, Racon, and Ucon.

Numbering system



A numbering system is used for fluorinated alkanes, prefixed with Freon-, R-, CFC-, and HCFC-. The rightmost value indicates the number of fluorine atoms, the next value to the left is the number of hydrogen atoms plus 1, and the next value to the left is the number of carbon atoms less one (zeroes are not stated). Remaining atoms are chlorine. Thus, Freon-12 indicates a methane derivative (only two numbers) containing two fluorine atoms (the second 2) and no hydrogen (1-1=0). It is therefore CCl2F2.

Another, easier equation that can be applied to get the correct molecular formula of the CFC/R/Freon class compounds is this to take the numbering and add 90 to it. The resulting value will give the number of carbons as the first numeral, the second numeral gives the number of hydrogen atoms, and the third numeral gives the number of fluorine atoms. The rest of the unaccounted carbon bonds are occupied by chlorine atoms. The value of this equation is always a three figure number. An easy example is that of CFC-12, which gives: 90+12=102 -> 1 carbon, 0 hydrogens, 2 fluorine atoms, and hence 2 chlorine atoms resulting in CCl2F2. The main advantage of this method of deducing the molecular composition in comparison with the method described in the paragraph above, is that it gives the number of carbon atoms of the molecule.

Freons containing bromine is signified by four numbers. Isomers, which are common for ethane and propane derivatives, are indicated by letters following the numbers.
Principal CFCs
Systematic name Common/trivial
name(s), code
Boiling point (°C) Formula
Trichlorofluoromethane
Trichlorofluoromethane
Trichlorofluoromethane, also called freon-11, CFC-11, or R-11, is a chlorofluorocarbon. It is a colorless, nearly odorless liquid that boils at about room temperature.- Uses :It was the first widely used refrigerant...

Freon-11, R-11, CFC-11 23 CCl3F
Dichlorodifluoromethane
Dichlorodifluoromethane
Dichlorodifluoromethane , is a colorless gas, and usually sold under the brand name Freon-12, is a chlorofluorocarbon halomethane , used as a refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant. Complying with the Montreal Protocol, its manufacture was banned in the United States along with many other...

Freon-12, R-12, CFC-12 −29.8 CCl2F2
Chlorotrifluoromethane
Chlorotrifluoromethane
Chlorotrifluoromethane, R-13, CFC-13, or Freon 13, is a non-flammable, non-corrosive chlorofluorocarbon and also a mixed halomethane. It is used as a refrigerant, however, due to concerns about its ozone-depleting potential, its use has been phased out due to the Montreal Protocol.-Physical...

Freon-13, R-13, CFC-13 −81 CClF3
Chlorodifluoromethane
Chlorodifluoromethane
Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon . This colorless gas is better known as HCFC-22, or R-22. It was once commonly used as a propellant and in air conditioning applications...

R-22, HCFC-22 −40.8 CHClF2
Dichlorofluoromethane
Dichlorofluoromethane
Dichlorofluoromethane or Freon 21 or R 21 is a halomethane or hydrochlorofluorocarbon. It is a colorless and odorless gas.Its critical point is at 178.5 °C and 517 MPa...

R-21, HCFC-21 8.9 CHCl2F
Chlorofluoromethane
Chlorofluoromethane
Chlorofluoromethane or Freon 31 is a gaseous mixed halomethane .Its crystal structure is monoclinic with space group P21 and lattice constants a = 6.7676, b = 4.1477, c = 5.0206 , β = 108.205°....

Freon 31, R-31, HCFC-31 CH2ClF
Bromochlorodifluoromethane
Bromochlorodifluoromethane
Bromochlorodifluoromethane, also known by the trade name Halon 1211, or BCF, or Halon 1211 BCF, or Freon 12B1, is a haloalkane with the chemical formula CF2ClBr....

BCF, Halon 1211, H-1211, Freon 12B1 CBrClF2
1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane
1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane
Trichlorotrifluoroethane, also called 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane or CFC-113 is a chlorofluorocarbon. It has the formula CCl2FC-ClF2....

Freon 113, R-113, CFC-113, 1,1,2-Trichlorotrifluoroethane 47.7 Cl2FC-CClF2
1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2,2-trifluoroethane Freon 113a, R-113a, CFC-113a 45.9 Cl3C-CF3
1,2-Dichloro-1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethane
1,2-Dichlorotetrafluoroethane
1,2-Dichlorotetrafluoroethane, or R-114, is a chlorofluorocarbon with the molecular formula ClF2CCF2Cl. Its primary use has been as a refrigerant. It is a non-flammable gas with a sweetish, chloroform-like odor with critical point at 145.6 °C and 3.26 MPa. When pressurized or cooled,...

Freon 114, R-114, CFC-114, Dichlorotetrafluoroethane 3.8 ClF2C-CClF2
1-Chloro-1,1,2,2,2-pentafluoroethane Freon 115, R-115, CFC-115, Chloropentafluoroethane −38 ClF2C-CF3
2-Chloro-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane R-124, HCFC-124 −12 CHFClCF3
1,1-Dichloro-1-fluoroethane R-141b, HCFC-141b 32 Cl2FC-CH3
1-Chloro-1,1-difluoroethane R-142b, HCFC-142b −9.2 ClF2C-CH3
Tetrachloro-1,2-difluoroethane Freon 112, R-112, CFC-112 91.5 CCl2FCCl2F
Tetrachloro-1,1-difluoroethane Freon 112a, R-112a, CFC-112a 91.5 CClF2CCl3
1,1,2-Trichlorotrifluoroethane Freon 113, R-113, CFC-113 48 CCl2FCClF2
1-Bromo-2-chloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethane Halon 2311a 51.7 CHClFCBrF2
2-Bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane Halon 2311 50.2 CF3CHBrCl
1,1-Dichloro-2,2,3,3,3-pentafluoropropane R-225ca, HCFC-225ca 51 CF3CF2CHCl2
1,3-Dichloro-1,2,2,3,3-pentafluoropropane R-225cb, HCFC-225cb 56 CClF2CF2CHClF

History


Carbon tetrachloride
Carbon tetrachloride
Carbon tetrachloride, also known by many other names is the organic compound with the formula CCl4. It was formerly widely used in fire extinguishers, as a precursor to refrigerants, and as a cleaning agent...

 (CCl4) was used in fire extinguishers and glass "anti-fire grenades" from the late nineteenth century until around the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Experimentation with chloroalkanes for fire suppression on military aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 began at least as early as the 1920s. Freon is a trade name for a group of CFCs which are used primarily as refrigerants
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

, but also have uses in fire-fighting and as propellants in aerosol cans. Bromomethane is widely used as a fumigant. Dichloromethane is a versatile industrial solvent.

The Belgian scientist Frédéric Swarts
Frédéric Swarts
Frédéric Swarts was a Belgian chemist who prepared the first chlorofluorocarbon, CF2Cl2 as well as several other related compounds. He was a professor in the civil engineering at the University of Ghent...

 pioneered the synthesis of CFCs in the 1890s. He developed an effective exchange agent to replace chloride in carbon tetrachloride with fluoride to synthesize CFC-11 (CCl3F) and CFC-12 (CCl2F2).

In the late 1920s, Thomas Midgley, Jr.
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
Thomas Midgley, Jr. was an American mechanical engineer and chemist. Midgley was a key figure in a team of chemists, led by Charles F. Kettering, that developed the tetraethyllead additive to gasoline as well as some of the first chlorofluorocarbons . Over the course of his career, Midgley was...

 improved the process of synthesis and led the effort to use CFC as refrigerant to replace ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

 (NH3), chloromethane (CH3Cl), and sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is released by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide unless the sulfur compounds are removed before burning the fuel...

 (SO2), which are toxic but were in common use. In searching for a new refrigerant, requirements for the compound were: low boiling point
Boiling point
The boiling point of an element or a substance is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the environmental pressure surrounding the liquid....

, low toxicity, and to be generally non-reactive. In a demonstration for the American Chemical Society
American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 at New York University, the ACS currently has more than 161,000 members at all degree-levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical...

, Midgley flamboyantly demonstrated all these properties by inhaling a breath of the gas and using it to blow out a candle in 1930.

Commercial development and use of CFCs and related compounds



During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, various chloroalkanes were in standard use in military aircraft, although these early halons suffered from excessive toxicity. Nevertheless, after the war they slowly became more common in civil aviation as well. In the 1960s, fluoroalkanes and bromofluoroalkanes became available and were quickly recognized as being highly effective fire-fighting materials. Much early research with Halon 1301
Bromotrifluoromethane
Bromotrifluoromethane is an organic halide with the chemical formula CBrF3. Alternative names are Halon 1301, R13B1, Halon 13B1 and BTM.- Table of physical properties :- Uses :...

 was conducted under the auspices of the US Armed Forces, while Halon 1211
Bromochlorodifluoromethane
Bromochlorodifluoromethane, also known by the trade name Halon 1211, or BCF, or Halon 1211 BCF, or Freon 12B1, is a haloalkane with the chemical formula CF2ClBr....

 was, initially, mainly developed in the UK. By the late 1960s they were standard in many applications where water and dry-powder extinguishers posed a threat of damage to the protected property, including computer rooms, telecommunications switches, laboratories, museums and art collections. Beginning with warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s, in the 1970s, bromofluoroalkanes also progressively came to be associated with rapid knockdown of severe fires in confined spaces with minimal risk to personnel.

By the early 1980s, bromofluoroalkanes were in common use on aircraft, ships, and large vehicles as well as in computer facilities and galleries. However, concern was beginning to be expressed about the impact of chloroalkanes and bromoalkanes on the ozone layer
Ozone layer
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone . This layer absorbs 97–99% of the Sun's high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to the life forms on Earth...

. The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement. It was agreed upon at the Vienna Conference of 1985 and entered into force in 1988....

 did not cover bromofluoroalkanes as it was thought, at the time, that emergency discharge of extinguishing systems was too small in volume to produce a significant impact, and too important to human safety for restriction.

Regulation


Since the late 1970s, the use of CFCs has been heavily regulated because of their destructive effects on the ozone layer
Ozone depletion
Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since the late 1970s: a steady decline of about 4% per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere , and a much larger springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions. The latter phenomenon...

. After the development of his electron capture detector
Electron capture detector
An electron capture detector is a device for detecting atoms and molecules in a gas through the attachment of electrons via electron capture ionization. The device was invented in 1957 by Dr. James E...

, James Lovelock
James Lovelock
James Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS is an independent scientist, environmentalist and futurologist who lives in Devon, England. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling...

 was the first to detect the widespread presence of CFCs in the air, finding a mole fraction of 60 ppt of CFC-11 over Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. In a self-funded research expedition ending in 1973, Lovelock went on to measure CFC-11 in both the Arctic and Antarctic, finding the presence of the gas in each of 50 air samples collected, and concluding that CFCs are not hazardous to the environment. The experiment did however provide the first useful data on the presence of CFCs in the atmosphere. The damage caused by CFCs was discovered by Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina who, after hearing a lecture on the subject of Lovelock's work, embarked on research resulting in the first publication suggesting the connection in 1974. It turns out that one of CFCs' most attractive features—their low reactivity— is key to their most destructive effects. CFCs' lack of reactivity gives them a lifespan that can exceed 100 years, giving them time to diffuse into the upper stratosphere
Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

. Once in the stratosphere, the sun's ultraviolet
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 radiation is strong enough to cause the homolytic cleavage of the C-Cl bond.
By 1987, in response to a dramatic seasonal depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica, diplomats in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 forged a treaty, the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

, which called for drastic reductions in the production of CFCs. On March 2, 1989, 12 European Community nations agreed to ban the production of all CFCs by the end of the century. In 1990, diplomats met in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and voted to significantly strengthen the Montreal Protocol by calling for a complete elimination of CFCs by the year 2000. By the year 2010 CFCs should have been completely eliminated from developing countries as well.

Because the only CFCs available to countries adhering to the treaty is from recycling, their prices have increased considerably. A worldwide end to production should also terminate the smuggling of this material. However, there are current CFC smuggling issues, as recognized by UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme)in a 2006 report titled "Illegal Trade in Ozone Depleting Substances". UNEP estimates that between 16,000–38,000 tonnes of CFCs passed through the black market in the mid-1990s. The report estimated between 7,000 and 14,000 tonnes of CFCs are smuggled annually into developing countries. Asian countries are those with the most smuggling; China, India and South Korea were found to account for around 70% of global CFC production. Possible reasons for continued CFC smuggling were also examined: the report noted that many banned CFC producing products have long lifespans and continue to operate. The cost of replacing the equipment of these items is sometimes cheaper than outfitting them with a more ozone-friendly appliance. Additionally, CFC smuggling is not considered a significant issue so the perceived penalties for smuggling are low. While the eventual phaseout of CFCs is likely, efforts are being taken to stem these current non-compliance problems.

By the time of the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

 it was realised that deliberate and accidental discharges during system tests and maintenance accounted for substantially larger volumes than emergency discharges, and consequently halons were brought into the treaty, albeit with many exceptions.

Regulatory gap


While the production and consumption of CFCs are regulated under the Montreal Protocol, emissions from pre-existing banks of CFCs are not regulated under the agreement. As of 2002, there were 5,791 kilotons of CFCs in existing products such as refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosol cans and others. Approximately one-third of these CFCs are projected to be emitted over the next decade if action is not taken, posing a threat to both the ozone layer and the climate. A proportion of these CFCs can be safely captured and destroyed.

Regulation and DuPont


In 1978 the United States banned the use of CFCs such as Freon in aerosol cans, the beginning of a long series of regulatory actions against their use. The critical DuPont manufacturing patent for Freon ("Process for Fluorinating Halohydrocarbons", U.S. Patent #3258500) was set to expire in 1979. In conjunction with other industrial peers DuPont sponsored efforts such as the "Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy" to question anti-CFC science, but in a turnabout in 1986 DuPont, with new patents in hand, publicly condemned CFCs. DuPont representatives appeared before the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

 urging that CFCs be banned worldwide and stated that their new HCFCs would meet the worldwide demand for refrigerants.

Phase out of CFCs


Use of certain chloroalkanes as solvents for large scale application, such as dry cleaning, have been phased out, for example, by the IPPC
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control is a directive of the European Union. It replaces the Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 on the same subject matter; both are commonly...

 directive on greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

es in 1994 and by the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) directive of the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 in 1997. Permitted chlorofluoroalkane uses are medicinal only.

Bromofluoroalkanes have been largely phased out and the possession of equipment for their use is prohibited in some countries like the Netherlands and Belgium, from 1 January 2004, based on the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

 and guidelines of the European Union.

Production of new stocks ceased in most (probably all) countries as of 1994. However many countries still require aircraft to be fitted with halon fire suppression systems because no safe and completely satisfactory alternative has been discovered for this application. There are also a few other, highly specialized uses. These programs recycle halon through "halon banks" coordinated by the Halon Recycling Corporation to ensure that discharge to the atmosphere occurs only in a genuine emergency and to conserve remaining stocks.

The interim replacements for CFCs are hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which deplete stratospheric ozone, but to a much lesser extent than CFCs. Ultimately, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will replace HCFCs. Unlike CFCs and HCFCs, HFCs have a ozone depletion potential (ODP) of 0. (although all three groups of halocarbons are powerful greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

es). DuPont began producing hydrofluorocarbons as alternatives to Freon in the 1980s. These included Suva refrigerants and Dymel propellants. Natural refrigerants are climate friendly solutions that are enjoying increasing support from large companies and governments interested in reducing global warming emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning. Hydrofluorocarbons are included in the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 because of their very high Global Warming Potential
Global warming potential
Global-warming potential is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide. A GWP is calculated over a specific time...

 and are facing calls to be regulated under the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

due to the recognition of halocarbon contributions to climate change.

On September 21, 2007, approximately 200 countries agreed to accelerate the elimination of hydrochlorofluorocarbons entirely by 2020 in a United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

-sponsored Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 summit. Developing nations were given until 2030. Many nations, such as the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, who had previously resisted such efforts
Global warming controversy
Global warming controversy refers to a variety of disputes, significantly more pronounced in the popular media than in the scientific literature, regarding the nature, causes, and consequences of global warming...

, agreed with the accelerated phase out schedule; however, presently China and Brazil are nations notable for their large and increasing production of chlorofluorocarbons.

Development of alternatives for CFCs


Work on alternatives for chlorofluorocarbons in refrigerants began in the late 1970s after the first warnings of damage to stratospheric
Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

 ozone were published. The hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are less stable in the lower atmosphere, enabling them to break down before reaching the ozone layer. Nevertheless, a significant fraction of the HCFCs do break down in the stratosphere
Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

 and they have contributed to more chlorine buildup there than originally predicted. Later alternatives lacking the chlorine, the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have an even shorter lifetimes in the lower atmosphere. One of these compounds, HFC-134a, is now used in place of CFC-12 in automobile air conditioners. Hydrocarbon refrigerants (a propane/isobutane blend) are also used extensively in mobile air conditioning systems in Australia, the USA and many other countries, as they have excellent thermodynamic properties and perform particularly well in high ambient temperatures. One of the natural refrigerants (along with Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide), hydrocarbons have negligible environmental impacts and are also used worldwide in domestic and commercial refrigeration applications, and are becoming available in new split system air conditioners.
Various other solvents and methods have replaced the use of CFCs in laboratory analytics.
Applications and replacements for CFCs
Application Previously used CFC Replacement
Refrigeration & air-conditioning CFC-12 (CCl2F2); CFC-11(CCl3F); CFC-13(CClF3); HCFC-22 (CHClF2); CFC-113 (Cl2FCCClF2); CFC-114 (CClF2CClF2); CFC-115 (CF3CClF2); HFC-23 (CHF3); HFC-134a (CF3CFH2); HFC-507 (a 1:1 azeotropic mixture of HFC 125 (CF3 CHF2) and HFC-143a (CF3CH3)); HFC 410 (a 1:1 azeotropic mixture of HFC-32 (CF2H2) and HFC-125 (CF3CF2H))
Propellants in medicinal aerosols CFC-114 (CClF2CClF2) HFC-134a (CF3CFH2); HFC-227ea (CF3CHFCF3)
Blowing agents for foams CFC-11 (CCl3F); CFC 113 (Cl2FCCClF2); HCFC-141b (CCl2FCH3) HFC-245fa (CF3CH2CHF2); HFC-365 mfc (CF3CH2CF2CH3)
Solvents, degreasing agents, cleaning agents CFC-11 (CCl3F); CFC-113 (CCl2FCClF2) None

Environmental impacts


As previously discussed, CFCs were phased out via the Montreal Protocol
Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

 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
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

, 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 contribute to CFC's "super" greenhouse effect. Another such factor is the low concentration of the compound. Because CO2 is close to saturation with high concentrations, it takes more of the substance to enhance the greenhouse effect. Conversely, the low concentration of CFCs allow their effects to increase linearly with mass.

Tracer of ocean circulation


Since the time history of CFC concentrations in the atmosphere is relatively well known, they have provided an important constraint on ocean circulation. CFCs dissolve in seawater at the ocean surface and are subsequently transported into the ocean interior. Since CFCs are conservative, their concentration in the ocean interior reflects simply the convolution of their atmospheric time evolution and ocean circulation and mixing.

Safety


According to their material safety data sheets, CFCs and HCFCs are colourless, volatile, toxic liquids and gases with a faintly sweet ethereal odour. Overexposure may cause dizziness, loss of concentration, central nervous system depression and/or cardiac arrhythmia. Vapors displace air and can cause asphyxiation in confined spaces. Although non-flammable, their combustion products include hydrofluoric acid, and related species.

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