Ozone depletion potential
The ozone depletion potential (ODP) of a chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 is the relative amount of degradation to the ozone layer
Ozone layer
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone . This layer absorbs 97–99% of the Sun's high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to the life forms on Earth...

 it can cause, with trichlorofluoromethane
Trichlorofluoromethane, also called freon-11, CFC-11, or R-11, is a chlorofluorocarbon. It is a colorless, nearly odorless liquid that boils at about room temperature.- Uses :It was the first widely used refrigerant...

 (R-11 or CFC-11) being fixed at an ODP of 1.0. Chlorodifluoromethane
Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon . This colorless gas is better known as HCFC-22, or R-22. It was once commonly used as a propellant and in air conditioning applications...

 (R-22), for example, has an ODP of 0.055. CFC 11, or R-11 has the maximum potential amongst chlorocarbons because of the presence of three chlorine atoms in the molecule.

The first proposal of ODP came from Wuebbles in 1983. It was defined as a measure of destructive effects of a substance compared to a reference substance.

Precisely, ODP of a given substance is defined as the ratio of global loss of ozone due to given substance over the global loss of ozone due to CFC-11 of the same mass.

ODP can be estimated from the structure of a given substance. Chlorofluorocarbons have ODPs roughly equal to 1. Brominated substances have usually higher ODPs in range 5 - 15, because of more aggressive bromine reaction with ozone. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons have ODPs mostly in range 0.005 - 0.2 due to the presence of the hydrogen which causes them to react readily in the troposphere
The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere's mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols....

, therefore reducing their chance to reach the stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) have no chlorine content, so their ODP is essentially zero.

ODP is often used in conjunction with a compound's global warming potential
Global warming potential
Global-warming potential is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide. A GWP is calculated over a specific time...

 (GWP) as a measure of how environmentally detrimental it can be. GWP represents the potential of a substance to contribute to global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...


In a broad sense, haloalkanes that contain no hydrogen are stable in the troposphere and decompose only in the stratosphere. Those compounds that contain hydrogen also react with OH radicals and can therefore be decomposed in the troposphere, as well. The ozone depletion potential increases with the heavier halogens since the C-X bond strength is lower.

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