Perfluorocarbons Definition

by Laurent Cousineau
(Montreal)

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are powerful greenhouse gases.

Essentially, perfluorocarbons are chemicals composed only of the elements carbon and fluorine.

Perfluorocarbons are mostly synthetic and mainly consist of CF4 and C2F6.

According to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007, CF4 and C2F6 have a global warming potential 7,390 and 12,200 times stronger than carbon dioxide respectively.

Along with hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons were introduced as alternatives to ozone depleting substances such as CFCs.

Hence, perfluorocarbons do not destroy the ozone layer in the stratosphere.

Furthermore, PFCs are used in manufacturing and are by-products of various industrial processes.

Greenhouse Gases

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