Consider the following: 1) Aerosols 2) Foam agents 3) Fire retardants 4) Lubricants. In the making of how many of the above are hydrofluorocarbons used?


05:23 AM

UPSC Prelims 2023 Question:

Consider the following:

  1. Aerosols
  2. Foam agents
  3. Fire retardants
  4. Lubricants

In the making of how many of the above are hydrofluorocarbons used?

a) Only one

b) Only two

c) Only three

d) All four

Correct Answer: Option c) Only three

Learn more about hydrofluorocarbons from the given explanation below.


  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are synthetic chemicals that are used as refrigerants, blowing agents, firefighting agents, solvents, and propellants. They are non-flammable, chemically stable, and non-reactive.
  • HFCs are potent greenhouse gases, with global warming potentials (GWPs) that are hundreds to thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2) per unit of mass. They are also short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), meaning that they have atmospheric lifetimes of less than 30 years.
  • HFCs were introduced in the late 1980s to replace ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). However, their use has become increasingly regulated in the 21st century due to their impact on climate change.
  • The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to phase down HFC production and consumption. Under the Kigali Amendment, all countries have agreed to reduce their HFC consumption by 85% by 2050.
  • There are a number of alternatives to HFCs that are available and being developed. These alternatives have lower GWPs and are often more energy-efficient. Some examples of HFC alternatives include:
    • Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs)
    • Natural refrigerants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia, and propane
    • Hydrocarbon blends
    • Water
  • HFCs are entirely man-made. They are primarily produced for use in refrigeration, air-conditioning, insulating foams and aerosol propellants, with minor uses as solvents and for fire protection. HFCs are not used for making lubricants. So, points 1, 2 and 3 are correct and point 4 is not correct.

Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.

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