Potentially acceptable substitutes for the chlorofluorocarbons: properties and performance features of HFC-134a, HCFC-123, and HCFC-141b
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- Sukornick, B. Int J Thermophys (1989) 10: 553. doi:10.1007/BF00507978
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Potentially acceptable substitutes are known for CFC-11 and CFC-12-the most important Chlorofluorocarbons. HFC-134a could replace CFC-12 in airconditioning and refrigeration and both HCFC-123 and HCFC-141b show promise as CFC-11 substitutes. The replacement molecules all have significantly reduced greenhouse and ozone depletion potentials compared to their fully halogenated counterparts. HCFC-123 is theoretically a less efficient blowing agent than CFC-11, but 141b is more efficient. Results from experimental foaming tests confirm these relationships and show that initial insulating values are slightly lower for 141b and 123 than 11. Both substitutes are nonflammable liquids. Based on its physical properties, HFC-134a is an excellent replacement candidate for CFC-12. In addition, it is more thermally stable than CFC-12. A new family of HFC-134a compatible lubricant oils will be required. The estimated coefficient of performance (COP) of 134a is 96–98% that of CFC-12. Subacute toxicity tests show HFC-134a to have a low order of toxicity. HCFC-123 reveals no serious side effects at a concentration of 0.1% in subchronic tests and the inhalation toxicity of 141b is lower than that of CFC-11 based on a 6-h exposure. Chronic tests on all the new candidates will have to be completed for large-scale commercial use. Allied-Signal is conducting process development at a highly accelerated pace, and we plan to begin commercialization of substitutes within 5 years.