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Introduction to Clean Agents

Commonly Used Clean Agents

HFC-23 (FE-13)

HFC-23, trifluoromethane, is produced under the trade name of FE-13® by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. It is classified as a halocarbon clean agent and is employed at design concentrations typically ranging from 16% to 20% by volume. This concentration range corresponds to an agent mass requirement of 3.5 to 4.6 lb/100 ft3 of protected volume (55.7 to 73.1 kg/100m3 of protected volume). It is stored as a liquid in the discharge cylinder under its own vapor pressure of 608.9 psig (42 bar). Under these conditions HFC-23 has a maximum cylinder fill density of 48 lb/ft3 (769 kg/m3), which corresponds to an agent storage volume requirement of 0.072 to 0.095 ft3/100 ft3 of protected space (72.4 to 95 L/100 m3 of protected space). HFC-23 is sometimes stored as a super-critical fluid, increasing the storage pressure to 900 psig (62 bar) and the maximum fill density to 54 lb/ft3 (865 kg/m3)
It is nontoxic, odorless and colorless and is not suspected of contributing to stratospheric ozone depletionThe molecule does not contain any bromine or chlorine atoms, which are suspected of causing stratospheric ozone depletion..

HFC-23 does have a non-zero global warming potential (GWP) with an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 270 years and a GWP of 11,700 (GWP of CO2=1). Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Exposure to HFC-23 can cause cardiac sensitization, similarly to Halon 1301, with the highest tested concentration of 30% by volume for which there was no observable adverse effect (NOAEL).
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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