From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1-Chloro-1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane, also known as R-124, is a halocarbon compound that belongs to the family of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). It is a colorless gas or liquid under pressure, with a slight ethereal odor. R-124 is used in various applications, including as a refrigerant, in air conditioning systems, and in the manufacturing of foam blowing agents. Due to its properties, it has been utilized as a replacement for more ozone-depleting substances. However, it is important to note that R-124 still has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP), making its environmental impact a subject of concern.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1-Chloro-1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane has a molecular formula of C2HClF4. It is part of the HCFCs, which are known for their role in ozone layer depletion. The physical properties of R-124 include:

  • Boiling Point: -12.1°C (10.2°F)
  • Molecular Weight: 136.47 g/mol
  • Density: 1.227 g/cm³ (liquid at 25°C)

Applications[edit | edit source]

R-124 is primarily used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. It serves as a component in refrigerant blends due to its desirable thermodynamic properties and lower toxicity. Additionally, it is used in the production of foam blowing agents, which are substances that facilitate the formation of foam in the manufacturing of polyurethane foams.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

While 1-Chloro-1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane is less harmful to the ozone layer compared to earlier refrigerants like CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), it still possesses an ODP and a GWP. The ODP of R-124 is 0.022, indicating that it has a potential to deplete the ozone layer, albeit less so than CFCs. Its GWP is 609, suggesting that it contributes to global warming when released into the atmosphere.

Regulation and Phase-Out[edit | edit source]

Due to its environmental impact, the production and use of R-124, along with other HCFCs, are being phased out under international agreements such as the Montreal Protocol. The protocol aims to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of substances that deplete the ozone layer. Countries around the world are adopting measures to phase out HCFCs by replacing them with more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and natural refrigerants.

Safety[edit | edit source]

1-Chloro-1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane is generally considered to have low toxicity. However, like other refrigerants, it can displace oxygen and pose asphyxiation risks in high concentrations. Proper handling and storage are essential to prevent leaks and minimize exposure.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD