Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemicals that eased one environmental problem may worsen another

Date:
March 16, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Chemicals that helped solve a global environmental crisis in the 1990s -- the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer -- may be making another problem -- acid rain -- worse, scientists are reporting. A new study analyzes the effect of chemicals that replaced the ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons once used in aerosol spray cans, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other products.

Forests are being damaged by acid rain, which contains a corrosive ingredient that may result from the breakdown of chemicals introduced to help protect Earth's ozone layer.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chemicals that helped solve a global environmental crisis in the 1990s -- the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer -- may be making another problem -- acid rain -- worse, scientists are reporting.

Their study on the chemicals that replaced the ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) once used in aerosol spray cans, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other products, appears in ACS' Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

Jeffrey Gaffney, Carrie J. Christiansen, Shakeel S. Dalal, Alexander M. Mebel and Joseph S. Francisco point out that hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) emerged as CFC replacements because they do not damage the ozone layer. However, studies later suggested the need for a replacement for the replacements, showing that HCFCs act like super greenhouse gases, 4,500 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The new study adds to those concerns, raising the possibility that HCFCs may break down in the atmosphere to form oxalic acid, one of the culprits in acid rain.

They used a computer model to show how HCFCs could form oxalic acid via a series of chemical reactions high in the atmosphere. The model, they suggest, could have broader uses in helping to determine whether replacements for the replacements are as eco-friendly as they appear before manufacturers spend billions of dollars in marketing them.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christiansen et al. Hydroxyl Radical Substitution in Halogenated Carbonyls: Oxalic Acid Formation. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2010; 114 (8): 2806 DOI: 10.1021/jp9045116

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Chemicals that eased one environmental problem may worsen another." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303114001.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, March 16). Chemicals that eased one environmental problem may worsen another. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303114001.htm
American Chemical Society. "Chemicals that eased one environmental problem may worsen another." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303114001.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins