Welcome to the UNEP HCFC HELP CENTRE, Helping Developing Countries Phase Out Ozone Depleting HCFCs.
HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) are widely used in the refrigeration, foam, solvent, aerosol and fire fighting sectors as a transitional substance to substitute CFCs. HCFCs are also used as feedstock (raw material) in the production for other chemical products.
HCFCs were introduced in the 1990s as alternative chemicals for CFCs and added to the list of substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol. It was acknowledged at the time that these chemicals, with considerably lower ozone depleting potentials (ODP), were transitional and their production and consumption was also to be phased out under the Montreal Protocol. Although having considerably lower ozone depleting potentials than CFCs, many HCFCs have high global warming potentials, of up to 2000 times that of carbon dioxide.
In 2006 global HCFC production was 34,400 ODP tonnes and approximately 75% of global HCFC use is in air-conditioning and refrigeration sectors. The main HCFC used is HCFC-22 or chlorodifluoromethane.
At the 20th anniversary meeting of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer agreement was reached to adjust the Montreal Protocol's HCFC phase out schedule to accelerate the phase-out of production and consumption of HCFCS. This decision will result in a significant reduction in ozone depletion and well as in global warming.