HFCs are used as solvents due to their specific properties that are: non- flammability , thermal and chemical stability , excellent dielectric properties, high material compatibility , low surface tension and viscosity, high liquid density , very low toxicity and a favourable environmental profile.
They were developed to replace mainly CFC 113 and HCFC 141b, that are controlled under the Montreal Protocol. Quite often the HFC is blended with other fluids to obtain tailored properties for specific solvent - uses.
Main applications are:
HFCs, particularly HFC 134a, are used for specialist extraction of extremely important natural active pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, flavours and fragrances; such as taxol for breast cancer treatment, from yew needles, evening primrose oil food supplement, and vanilla. The use of HFC134a compliments other methods of extraction, being both highly selective and allowing extraction to high quality and high yield.