Ch. 16: Chlorocarbon Compounds


Chlorocarbons are a vital componet of refrigeration. Other attemps at refrigeration included molecules such as Ammonia, ether, methyl chloride, sulfur dioxide were good refrigerants, but they either decomposed, were fire hazards, poisonous, or extremly bad smelling. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) met all the requirements for a good refrigerant, extremly stable, and had none of the unfourtunant downsides of the other refrigerants. CFCs started the air conditioning industry because of its cooling properties, and because it reacted with almost nothing, it was ideal propellants for virtually everything that could be applied through a spray can. (Le Couteur & Burreson 308-330)

Because CFCs are not easily decomposed, after use they rise into the atmosphere. There, they act as a catalyst for the decomposition of ozone (O3). This destruction of ozone takes the ozone layer out of equillibruim. The ozone layer is important because it protects us from the most dangerous ultraviolet rays from the sun. It estimated that for every 1% of ozone depletion, 2% more harmful ultraviolet rays penetrate the earth's atmostphere.(Le Couteur & Burreson 308-330)