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CFC alternative: recycled refrigerants.

More than half the world's nations, including the United States, have agreed to halt their production of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, beginning in 1996 (SN: 12/12/92, p.415). Unfortunately, researchers have developed few environmentally friendly replacements for these refrigerants. However, CFCs might serve another 20 years if cleaned up and recycled, says Robert E. Kauffman, a chemist at the University of Dayton (Ohio) Research Institute.

Researchers assumed that recycled refrigerants wouldn't be up to par, but Kauffman's findings suggest otherwise. He studied refrigerants that spent years coursing through air-conditioning systems, picking up oils and acids along the way. He removed the oils and passed the remaining liquid through a filter containing beads of aluminum silicate zeolite crystals, which act as molecular sieves. The recycled refrigerants performed as well as new, he reported June 29 at a meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Moreover, the cleaning reduced their corrosiveness and thus their chance of causing leaks into the atmosphere, he says.
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Title Annotation:chlorofluorocarbons
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 17, 1993
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