Mineralization of Chlorofluorocarbons and Aromatization of Saturated Fluorocarbons by a Convenient Thermal Process

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Science  19 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5247, pp. 340-341
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5247.340


A chemical reaction has been discovered that mineralizes chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and enables the complete destruction of these environmentally hazardous species. The reaction products are easily handled solids, including recyclable alkali metal halides. Under milder conditions, the same reaction causes partial defluorination of cyclic perfluoroalkanes to yield perfluoroarenes, which are valuable chemical intermediates. The vaporized substrates are passed over a packed bed of heated sodium oxalate; heating at 270° to 290°C causes mineralization, whereas heating at 230°C causes aromatization.