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Environmental fate & pathways

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Any TFE released into the environment is expected to partition almost entirely to the atmosphere, where it will quickly react with atmospheric hydoxyl radicals (°OH), with an average atmospheric lifetime of < 2 days. Subsequent decomposition yields carbonyl fluoride C(=O)F2 which is further hydrolysed in the presence of atmospheric water to form hydrogen fluoride (HF) and CO2, the HF being washed out by rain. Again, the atmospheric lifetime for C(=O)F2 is short, being calculated in a global 3 -dimensional modelling study to be 3.9 to 7.1 days.

Because of its short atmospheric lifetime, the direct impact of TFE on the greenhouse effect is expected to be negligible. This has been confirmed by a calculation of a global warming potential (GWP) of 0.021 (CO2 = 1) for an integration horizon of 100 years (Acerboni et al 2001). Since TFE does not contain chlorine or bromine atoms it has no effect on the stratospheric ozone layer. However, TFE may enhance the formation of tropospheric ozone (O3) depending on the emitted quantities.

In the aquatic environment, no hydrolysis of TFE will occur. TFE is not prone to rapid biodegradation and bioaccumulation. TFE will not absorb significantly to soils and sediments (log Koc = 1.05).

Due to its high vapour pressure and Henry's law contant (92 109 Pa.m3/mol), TFE will volatilise to atmosphere from water, and wet and dry soil surfaces.