Chemical Properties and Uses of Freons and Chlorofluorocarbons


What are Freons? Freon refer to a non – combustible gas used in conditioning appliances. They are non – flammable refrigerants based on halogenated hydrocarbon including R-12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane), R-22 (Chlorodifluoromethane) R-23 (Fluoroform). Freons are ozone depleting refrigerants that undergo evaporation process over and over again to help produce cool air that can be circulated throughout your AC.

Freons contains hydrogen, chlorine or bromine. They are odourless, non – flammable, non – corrosive gases or liquids of low toxicity. They have low boiling points, low surface tension and low viscosity.



Uses of Freons

Freon-12 or R-12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane):
Chemical Structure: CF2CI2
1. .Freon-12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) commonly known as CFC is used as refrigerants and air conditioners.
2. They are used in aerosol spray propellants such as body spray, hair spray etc.
3. Used in liquid chillers.
4. Used in humidifiers.
5. Used in ice makers.
6. Used in water coolers.
7. Used in water fountains.
8. Used in transport refrigeration.


Properties of Freon-12

1. Freon-12 is non-toxic.
2. Non-flammable
3. Non-explosive

Advantages of Freon-12:

1. Freon-12 is stable:
Freon-12 does not disintegrate even under extreme operating conditions, however when it comes in contact with the flame of fire or an electrical heating equipment, it disintegrates, forming a toxic product. It is advised that we put all flames off and keep all doors open so it can escape into the atmosphere.

2. Wide range of operations:
It is used in wide range of applications like high temperature, medium temperature and low temperature applications.

3. Miscible in oil:
Freon-12 is miscible with compressor oil under all operating conditions.


Disadvantages of Freon-12:

1. Low refrigerating effect
2. The CFC in Freon-12 has a high potential of causing depletion of the ozone layer.


Chemical Structure:CHCIF2

Uses of R-22

1. R-22 refrigerants has been in use for years in air conditioners.
2. They are used in heat pumps.
3. They are used in mini splits.
4. They are used in car AC systems.
5. They are used in refrigerating equipments.
6. They are used in industries for liquefaction of gases.


Properties of R-22:

1. The boiling point of R-22 is -40.8°c/-41.4°F
2. Non-toxic
3. Non-flammable
4. Easily miscible with oil at condenser temperature, but at evaporator temperature it tends to get separated from the oil.

Advantages of R-22:

1. It has less side effect on the ozone layer.
2. Low compress displacement.
3. Greater water absorbing capacity.

Disadvantages of R-22:

It is a green house gas that contributes to the depletion of the earth’s ozone.

R-23 (Fluoroform):
Chemical Structure: CHF3


Uses of R-23:

1. Used in the manufacture of Teflon.
2. Used in refrigerants.
3. Fire extinguishing agents.
4. Used in automobile conditioners.
5. Used in semi-conductor industries.


Properties of R-23:

1. It is a colorless gas.
2. It has a melting point of -155.2°C.
3. It is soluble in organic solvents.
4. It has a boiling point of -82.1°C.



Chlorofluorocarbons are non-toxic, non-flammable chemicals containing atoms of carbon, chlorine and fluorine. They are used in the manufacture of aerosol sprays, blowing agents for foam,they are used as solvents and refrigerants. They are classified as halocarbons ( a compound containing carbon and hydrogen atoms).

Examples of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC): R11, R12, R115.
Chlorofluorocarbons are harmful to both the environment and living things. It makes green house side effect which causes harm to the ozone layer.


Sources of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC):

1. Refrigerators and Air Conditioners.
2. Aircraft Halon.
3. Aerosol sprays.

Properties of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC):

1. CFC is non-flammable.
2. CFC is tasteless.
3. CFC is odourless.
4. It is chemically stable.
5. It is non-toxic.


Advantages of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC):

1. Excellent Refrigerants:
The low boiling point of CFC makes it an excellent refrigerant.
2. The low toxicity of CFC makes it a very good propellant.
3. It is useful in fire fighting.


Disadvantages of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC):

1. It causes an increased incidence of cancer.
2. It damages the immune system.
3. It causes damage to the terrestrial and aquatic plant life.
3. Increased formation of ground level ozone.

So that’s a wrap up for freons today, drop your view or what you feel i missed out on in the comment section.

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