How do CFC's damage the Ozone Layer?

CFC's (Chloroflourocarbons) are pretty inert at ground level, but can harm the Ozone layer in the Stratosphere by catalysing it's destruction.

In the first stage, a CFC reacts with UV radiation to form a Chlorine Radical (which has an unpaired electron).

CCl2F2 + UV --> CClF+ Cl* 

In the second stage, that Chlorine Radical reacts with Ozone to produce Oxygen Gas and Chlorine Oxide.

Cl* + O--> O2 + *ClO

This is the actual destruction of Ozone. However the real problems are caused by the next stage.

In stage 3, ClO reacts with an Oxygen radical to produce more Oxygen gas and the initial Chlorine Radical.

*ClO + *O* --> O2 + Cl*


It reacts with Ozone (it just depends on which it happens to collide with in the atmosphere). The Chlorine Radical is still reformed this way.

*ClO +O3 --> 2O2 + Cl*

As you can see, the Clorine Radical doing all the damage is regenerated. This means that one CFC molecules can destroy lots of Ozone and this is why the issue is so vast.

Charlotte R. GCSE Chemistry tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, Uni Admissio...

1 year ago

Answered by Charlotte, a Mentoring Chemistry tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


About the author

£24 /hr

Charlotte R.

Degree: Natural Sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Chemistry, Geography


“Hi there! I'm Charlie and I'm studying Natural Sciences at Durham University, specialising in Chemistry and Earth Sciences. At A Level I got 3 A*s in Chemistry, Geography and Maths from Bedford Modern School andat GSCE I have 12 A* gr...”

You may also like...

Posts by Charlotte

Contrast the housing found in the "Inner City" region of a British town to the housing found in the "Suburbs"\? (GCSE Question)

How do CFC's damage the Ozone Layer?

How is the structure of Sodium Chloride different to that of Diamond?

How much of my personal statement should be my achievements?

Other Mentoring Chemistry questions

What is translation?

How do CFC's damage the Ozone Layer?

How is the structure of Sodium Chloride different to that of Diamond?

Which is the essential enzyme in the Calvin Cycle?

View Mentoring Chemistry tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss