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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 10 Issue 3 (2005) pp 217-226

CFCs: On the 75th Anniversary of Their Introduction as Commercial Refrigerants by Thomas Midgley, Jr. (1889–1944)

George B. Kauffman

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published online: 27 May 2005

Abstract. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the introduction of dichlorofluoromethane, the first of the CFCs to be used commercially as a refrigerant, this article reviews its discovery by Thomas Midgley, Jr. (1889–1944) and later developments necessitated by the deleterious effect of “Freons” on the ozone layer. Midgley’s life and other contributions are also discussed.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; biography; industrial chemistry; environmental science; inventions; refrigerants; ozone layer; CFCs; freons; ozone; anniversaries

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Issue date: June 1, 2005

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