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Tropodegradable Halocarbons and Main Group Element Compounds



J D. Mather, R E. Tapscott


Although it is not certain that a “drop-in” chemical substitute (as opposed to a new technology) for halons that can be used in normally occupied areas will ever be identified. there are two promising paths to such an agent. The first is to target bromocarbons with very short atmospheric lifetimes. We refer to these materials as “Tropodegradable Halocarbons.” The second path is to develop non-halocarbons-chemicals that are unlike the classic halocarbon agents used in the past (halons) and those halocarbons now being commercialized (HFCs, HCFCs, and perfluorocarbons). We refer to these non-halocarbon materials as “Compounds of Main Group Elements.” Herein we discuss projects sponsored by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) under the Next-Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program (NGP) to explore these two paths. The initiation of this work was discussed at the Halon Options Technical Working Conference 1998
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 984-4
Report Number


Mather, J. and Tapscott, R. (1999), Tropodegradable Halocarbons and Main Group Element Compounds, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 13, 2024)


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Created April 21, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017