On the basis of chemical reactions involved, explain how do chlorofluorocarbons cause thinning of ozone layer in stratosphere.

Answers (1)

Chlorofluorocarbons break down in the stratosphere by the powerful UV radiations and release free radicals of chlorine,

CF_{2}Cl_{2}(g)\overset{uv}{\rightarrow} \dot{Cl}(g) + \dot{C} F_{2}Cl(g)

This chlorine radical reacts with stratospheric ozone and forms chlorine monoxide radicals and molecular oxygen,

\dot{Cl}(g) + O_{3}(g) \rightarrow Cl\dot{O}(g) + O_{2}(g)

 Now chlorine monoxide radical produces with atomic oxygen produces more chlorine radicals.

Cl\dot{O}(g) + O(g) \rightarrow \dot{C}l(g) + O_{2}(g)

Breakdown of ozone is caused by continuous regeneration of chlorine radicals. Therefore, we can say that CFCs are transporting agents who continuously generate chlorine radicals into the stratosphere and cause damage to the ozone layer.

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