Hydrofluorocarbons (hfcs) are a group of organic compounds that contain carbon, fluorine, and hydrogen. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are greenhouse gases (GHGs) commonly used in a wide variety of applications by federal agencies, including refrigeration, air conditioning, building insulation, fire extinguishing systems, and aerosols.
Once released into the atmosphere, HFCs decompose relatively quickly; for example, the atmospheric lifetime for HFC-134a is about 14 years. (CFCs, by comparison, can remain in the atmosphere for 100 years.) The breakdown of HFCs occurs in the troposphere (the lowest portion of the atmosphere), where they are split by reactions with hydroxyl radicals(?OH). Within the troposphere, the carbon-fluorine bonds in HFCs are highly effective at trapping solar radiation (specifically, infrared radiation) and redirecting that radiant energy toward Earth's surface. This so-called positive radiative forcing effect contributes to global warming.
Steps taken to limit the potential impacts are:
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol, 1997) introduced measures designed to achieve reduction of greenhouse gas releases (including HFCs).
Amendment has been produced in the Kigali meet in Montreal Protocol. The amendment will allow the use of ozone-saving Montreal Protocol to phase-out HFCs, a set of 19 gases in the hydroflurocarbon family that are used extensively in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry. HFCs are not ozone-depleting but are thousands of times more dangerous than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.
The phase-out scheduled under the amendment is estimated to avert 70 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions between 2020 and 2050. This is considered equivalent to shutting down more than 750 coal power plants, each of 500 MW capacity, or taking about 500 million cars off the road from now to 2050.