Chlorofluorocarbons Essay

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Chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs], commonly known as Freon, are a type of organic compounds that are made up of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine atoms. Their significant properties include low volatility of approximately 0℃, together with being tasteless, odourless, non-flammable, nontoxic, and chemically stable. They have supported the society for years through the form of a refrigerant, a solvent and a propellant. Moreover, they have contributed to the industrialization of nations, especially during the 1950s, as a material to manufacture aerosol sprays, and as a blowing agent for foam and packing materials. Ironically, in addition to being a useful compound in many instances, it was found that CFCs have been a leading cause of global warming and the annihilation of species. In 1985, Joe Farman and colleagues discovered and named the destruction of the ozone layer as “the Antarctic ozone hole”. The ozone layer is part of the ozone rich stratosphere – a layer of the earth’s atmosphere that sits approximately 20m above the earth. The main function is to protect the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays [UV rays] emitted from the sun. Thus, the discovery of a hole in the ozone layer was a serious environmental issue. Through investigation, it was found that one of the major factors of the ozone layer deterioration was the production of CFCs. When CFCs reach the atmosphere, they react with UV rays, and turns into substance including chlorine. The chlorine takes place a chemical reaction with the oxygen in ozone, destroying the ozone molecules (See figure 1). According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a single chlorine atom in the ozone layer can abolish 1,000 zone molecules. In the following essay, the effect of the CFCs on the ozone...

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...aerosol sprays containing CFCs in some countries since 1978. However, although the amount of CFCs being produced has been decreasing since 1987, the amounts of CFCs are still over the necessary amount. Lu has stated the Cosmic Ray Driven Electron Reaction theory through his investigation into the relationship between global warming and CFCs that stated “Cosmic rays and CFCs play the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then ozone”. He also claimed that by removing the natural cosmic ray effect and excessive production of CFCs, a recovery up to 20% in the Antarctic ozone hole could be predicted. If the theory by Lu is to be true, the world should plan and take action to control this over-production of CFCs. It is the task for human to control the mess that they have created by themselves, in order to save lives of 8.7 million species on earth.

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