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Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

The Good News And The Bad News

HCFC compounds react differently from CFCs. This is because the HCFCs contain a hydrogen atom, which causes these chemicals to decompose photochemically before they reach the stratosphere. HFCs do not contain chlorine and thus do not attack the ozone layer. HCFCs and HFCs survive in the atmosphere for two to 40 years, compared with about 150 years for CFCs.

As a result of their shorter persistence and different molecular composition, HCFC and HFC compounds are expected to replace CFCs in most major uses, including the production of foams for insulation, furniture, and vehicle seats, and as a coolant in refrigerators and air conditioners.

HCFCs and HFCs are much more expensive to manufacture than CFCs, and they still negatively affect Earth's atmosphere to some degree. Although HCFCs destroy 98% less ozone in the stratosphere than do CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs are still greenhouse gases that may contribute to global warming. In comparison to carbon dioxide, a more common greenhouse gas, CFCs are about 4,100 times more efficient in their global warming potential, while HFCs are 350 times more effective.


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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Hydrazones to IncompatibilityHydrochlorofluorocarbons - Why Hcfcs?, The Good News And The Bad News, The Future Of Hcfcs