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Another area where hydrocarbons find many applications is in the field of refrigeration, particularly because hydrocarbons, as naturally occurring products, are ”green” and have zero ozone depletion levels. Although flammable hydrocarbons have been used in refrigeration applications since 1867, it was only the invention of CFCs in 1926 which stopped the common use. The realization that CFCs were damaging the ozone layer led to their removal from production by the mid 90’s, and the scene was set for hydrocarbons to resume application in commercial and domestic refrigeration.
Today, outside of the United States, 90 percent of all new domestic refrigerators use iso-butane (R600a), while propane (R290), propylene (R1270) and ethane (R170) are also used in major industrial scale refrigeration applications.