Trichlorotrifluoroethane

Definition - What does Trichlorotrifluoroethane mean?

Trichlorotrifluoroethane, or CFC-113 as it is often abbreviated, is a solvent with the chemical formula C2Cl3F3. Trichlorotrifluoroethane is a liquid at room temperatures and pressures, and is colorless with a somewhat sweet smell. A trichlorotrifluoroethane molecule is comprised of three chlorine atoms, three fluorine atoms and two carbon atoms.

Corrosionpedia explains Trichlorotrifluoroethane

Trichlorotrifluoroethane was frequently used as a cleaning solvent for clothing, metals, polymers and electrical equipment. In addition to cleaning, trichlorotrifluoroethane was also used as a refrigerant because it cools as it expands. Refrigeration applications include food refrigeration and air conditioners. Trichlorotrifluoroethane was also commonly used to make packing foam.

Trichlorotrifluoroethane is rarely used today compared with its usage before the 1990s, due to discoveries about its effects on the ozone layer.

Trichlorotrifluoroethane is quite unreactive. When released, it can leave the troposphere and go into the stratosphere without having changed its molecular structure. Then, when exposed to ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere, trichlorotrifluoroethane begins to deteriorate. The chlorine atoms are released and react with the O2 molecules that are needed to protect the earth from the sun's harmful rays.

Some properties of trichlorotrifluoroethane:

  • Molecular weight: 187.367 g/mol
  • Melting point: -33.5°F (-36.4°C)
  • Boiling point: 117.9°F (47.7°C)
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