Photo-Thermal Conversion of CFCs and Halons to Valuable and Environmental Safe Materials

EPA Contract Number: 68D30074
Title: Photo-Thermal Conversion of CFCs and Halons to Valuable and Environmental Safe Materials
Investigators: Lavid, Moshe
Small Business: M.L. Energia Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through October 1, 1995
Project Amount: $150,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1993) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


There is presently a wide range of applications using vast amount of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and bromochlorofluorocarbons (Halons). However, these compounds pose a serious threat to the stratospheric ozone layer, and thus must be removed from service, as specified in the Memorial Protocol and by new Federal regulations. Consequently, it would be of great economic and environmental benefit it these materials could be safely and efficiently converted into less ozone-depleting substitutes.

A novel technology has been proposed by M.L. Energia, Inc., for on- site conversion of CFCs/Halons to environmentally benign and saleable materials. The process is Photo-Thermal Hydrodehalogenation (PTH). It converts CFCs and Halons into hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), fluorocarbons (FCs) and other high-value materials. The scientific foundation of this innovative PTH process lies in the combined use of reducing atmosphere and ultraviolet light to efficiently remove chlorine and bromine atoms from CFCs and Halon molecules at moderate temperatures. These atoms participate in chain- propagating reactions promoting high conversion of CFCs/Halons to valuable HCFCs, HFCs, and FCs depending on the specific compound and the operating conditions.

Phase I results have already demonstrated the feasibility of the PTH process and identified potential commercial applications. The primary goal of Phase II is to obtain all the necessary technical information for design and construction of a prototype PTH reactor. To this end, a comprehensive four-task work plan been proposed. Under Phase III, the PTH process will be ultimately commercialized in collaboration with M.L. Energia, Inc.'s industrial partner, which has already provided a Follow-on Funding Commitment.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Waste, Chemical Engineering, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, HCFCs, Hazardous Waste, CFCs, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, ozone depletion potential, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), industrial waste, stratospheric ozone, ozone depletion, photo conversion , chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), photo-thermal conversion, halons, waste recovery, chlorocarbon , incineration alternatives, incineration, air emissions

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final