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Refrigerants in Transition
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The massive growth of air conditioning and refrigeration has been a direct result of the development of a class of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons that were thought to be inert, non-toxic and friendly, and were inexpensive. Their use led to advances in nutrition, health and chemical processes that made vastly improved standards of living available to millions of people. Scientists discovered that a fragile layer of ozone that protects the earth's surface from bombardment by the sun's ultraviolet radiation was thinning. Studies conducted in the 1980s showed that chlorine atoms from the breakdown of chlorofluorocarbons and other chemicals were causing this loss. The miracle refrigerants were under attack. International concern became so great that a meeting was held in 1987 to address the problem. A treaty was the result of this meeting. Legislation on the production and use of these chemicals followed. Industry has responded by testing replacement refrigerants. This paper describes some of the issues and results.
Stouppe, D. E. (1991). Refrigerants in Transition. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.eslwin.tamu.edu). Available electronically from