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What are the disadvantages of CFCs?I have searched everywhere for this and i need a lot...

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ozone | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted February 8, 2009 at 1:32 AM via web

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What are the disadvantages of CFCs?

I have searched everywhere for this and i need a lot of information because I'm doing a very big science project. Thanks :)

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cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 8, 2009 at 2:00 AM (Answer #1)

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The full name for CFCs is chloroflourocarbons, which just means that these synthetic compounds include chlorine (chloro), flourine (flouro) and carbon.

CFCs are used

  • to produce cold air in refrigerators and air conditioners,
  • to make plastic foams for furniture, insulation, etc.
  • for aerosol in spray cans.

The problem is that when CFCs are released into the air they can get to the stratosphere (one of the layers of atmosphere around the earth) and destroy ozone gas.  This can create a "hole" in the ozone layer around the earth and allow in more ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

A really good site to learn about this is in "How Stuff Works."  Here's a quote that explains how CFCs deplete ozone:

CFCs, which are man-made, gradually rise up into the ozone layer, where ultraviolet light breaks the compounds apart, which releases chlorine. A chlorine atom can steal an oxygen atom from an ozone molecule, creating oxygen gas and chlorine monoxide (ClO), which effectively destroys the ozone molecule. But the chlorine atom isn't done yet; a chlorine atom can break from its oxygen atom and wreak havoc on as many as 10,000 more ozone molecules. . . After years of unrestrained CFC production, the ozone would deplete significantly.  [sources removed from quote]

Here's the link to that article -- there are other related articles that are useful, too.

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ronald75 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 8, 2009 at 8:11 PM (Answer #2)

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Chlorocarbons, CFCl3 (CFC-11) and CF2Cl2 (CFC-12) because of their larger concentrations and potentially significant effects on stratospheric ozone. CFC-11 and CFC-12 have the highest concentrations of the man-made chlorocarbons, around 0.27 and 0.55 ppbv, respectively (measured at Mauna Loa in 1997, Fig. 5 & 6). As indicated in their GWP values, these two gases are strong infrared absorbers. It is thought that CFC-11 and CFC-12 have contributed about one-third of the radiative forcing of gases other than CO2 during the 1980s.

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charles85 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted April 8, 2009 at 8:18 PM (Answer #3)

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Since the appearance of an ozone hole (because of large quantity of CFCs) over the Antarctic in the early 1980s, Americans have become aware of the health threats posed by ozone depletion, which decreases our atmosphere's natural protection from the sun's harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays. One of the disease is skin cancer affected by depleting ozone layer due to CFCs.

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sanjeetmanna | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted July 1, 2012 at 9:52 PM (Answer #4)

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CFCs is chloroflourocarbons. 
When CFCs are released into the air they can get to the stratosphere and destroy ozone layer. This creates a hole in the ozone layer around the earth and allow in more ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

CCl2F2 + hv → CClF2 + Cl•

Cl• + O3 → ClO• + O2

ClO• + O• → Cl• + O2

ClO• + ClO• + M → (ClO)2 + M

(ClO)2 + hv → Cl• + ClOO

ClOO + M → Cl• + O2 + M

Thus the free radicle chain reaction continues which leads to the breaking of the Ozone layer.

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