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Freon is very important in society today However it is not actually a chemical Freon is actually a trade name that describes an entire class of chemicals used in refrigeration It is a trademark of EI DuPont and is actually known as a chlorofluorocarbon The parent hydrocarbons are methane CHP ethane CMHR and sometimes bromine atoms The methane based Freons are designated by DuPont with numbers below 100 those based on ethane are numbered between 100 and 200 The most frequently used Freons are F-11 and F-12 the formulas of which are CCIOF and CCIMFM Freons are chemically stable are nontoxic and nonflammable Their stability results from the presence of fluorine atoms in the molecule and generally the more fluorine present the greater the stability of the compound Freons have a very high density low boiling point low viscosity and low surface tension which makes them very suitable as refrigerants These properties also make them very useful in aerosol propellants solvents and expansion agents in polyurethane foams Freons containing bromine are used as fire-extinguishing agents as well However Freons are fluorocarbons which are substances that deplete the ozone layer Thus the DuPont Company pledged in 1988 to phase out production of fluorocarbons particularly the chlorofluorocarbons CFCs and to seek substitutes These CFCs are no longer being produced but other Freons still are With the growing need for a substitute the federal government has banned the use of aerosol cans and other products that release CFCs These CFCs destroy the ozone layer which most scientists are worried about due to its rapid depletion Many automobiles and appliances still contain Freon and should be upgraded to Freons substitutes which do not deplete the ozone layer Many new appliances and automobiles already use non-Freon refrigerants but many more must replace the old Freon-based ones With the help of scientists and the federal government Freon is being banned and the ozone layer is not depleting as much In
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