Periodic graphics: The chemistry of air-conditioning | August 21, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 33 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 33 | p. 39
Issue Date: August 21, 2017 | Web Date: August 14, 2017

Periodic graphics: The chemistry of air-conditioning

Chemical educator and Compound Interest blogger Andy Brunning explains how refrigerants help keep us cool on hot summer days
By Andy Brunning
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: energy, air-conditioning, refrigerants, CFCs, ozone, Montreal protocol, global warming potential

To download a pdf of this article, visit

References used to create this graphic:

A brief history of air conditioning

A history of air conditioning

Refrigerants for residential and commercial air conditioning units

R-32, a next generation refrigerant

Replacing the replacements

How air conditioners work

HFC phase-out agreed at Montreal Protocol meeting

A collaboration between C&EN and Andy Brunning, author of the popular graphics blog Compound Interest.

To see more of Brunning’s work, go to To see all of C&EN’s Periodic Graphics, visit

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Ivan Vince (August 16, 2017 6:03 PM)
Surprised to see no mention of the HC R290 (propane) as a rapidly emerging substitute for HFCs and HFOs in air conditioning.
Jase Davidson (September 27, 2017 3:29 PM)
Great information! I think that AC is misunderstood and knowing how it works will save you money and time in the long run. Thanks for sharing!

J. Davidson

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