Products & applications of PFCs Perfluorocarbons

September 2012
PFCs (perfluorocarbons), covered by the Kyoto Protocol, are organofluorine compounds that contain exclusively carbon and fluorine. Examples are CF4 (tetrafluoroethane) and C2F6 (hexafluoroethane or perfluoroethane). These substances have high global warming potential but do not bioaccumulate and are considered to be of low order of toxicity. They are gases or volatile liquids.

While other compounds which contain atoms other than carbon and fluorine are also sometimes called PFCs, they should in effect be considered specifically as fluorocarbon derivatives. Examples are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid: C8HF15O2) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid : C8HF17O3S ). These are typically surfactants with long carbon chains, with uses in fluoropolymer preparations and for water repellancy.
The properties of these substances – bioaccumulation and stability – means that voluntary and regulatory measures are being taken to control their use and minimize their emissions to the environment.

The following segmentation is documenting typical applications for each compound reviewed with emission relevant specifics information:

Compound Code Structure GWP* Lifetime
(a)
Boiling
Point (°C)
Additional
Information
(1) IPPC Fourth Assessment Report GWP Values
Perfluoromethane 14 CF4 7390 50000 -128 Applications

Toxicological Profile

 

Perfluoroethane 116 C2F6 12200 10000 -78 Applications

Toxicological Profile

Perfluoropropane 218 C3F8 8830 2600 -37 Applications

Toxicological Profile

Perfluorobutane 3-1-10 C4F10 8860 2600 -2 Applications

Toxicological Profile

Perfluorocyclobutane c318 c-C4F8 10300 3200 -7 Applications

Toxicological Profile

Perfluoropentane 4-1-12 C5F12 9160 4100 30  

Toxicological Profile

Perfluorohexane 5-1-14 C6F14 9300 3200 56 Applications

Toxicological Profile

Due to their high GWP, PFCs are included in the “HFCs, PFCs and SF6” basket of the Kyoto Protocol.