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Kanadische Wissenschaftler von der Fakultät Chemie der Universität Toronto haben ein neues Treibhausgas entdeckt. Das Gas Perfluortributylamin (PFTBA) kommt nicht natürlich vor, sondern wird künstlich hergestellt seit Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Das Gas wird bei der Produktion von Teilen für die Elektroindustrie eingesetzt. Wie die Forscher im Rahmen einer Studie herausgefunden haben, die am 27. November 2013 in der Fachzeitschrift Geophysical Research Letters veröffentlicht wurde, ist ein Molekül PFTBA 7.100-mal klimawirksamer als ein Molekül CO2.


Scientists from University of Toronto’s Department of Chemistry have discovered a novel chemical lurking in the atmosphere that appears to be a long-lived greenhouse gas (LLGHG). The chemical – perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) – is the most radiatively efficient chemical found to date, breaking all other chemical records for its potential to impact climate. PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment and is currently used in thermally and chemically stable liquids marketed for use in electronic testing and as heat transfer agents. It does not occur naturally, that is, it is produced by humans. There are no known processes that would destroy or remove PFTBA in the lower atmosphere so it has a very long lifetime, possibly hundreds of years, and is destroyed in the upper atmosphere. The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and was published online at Geophysical Research Letters on November 27, 2013.

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