Prelims 2023

Q80. Consider the following:

1. Aerosols
2. Foam agents
3. Fire retardants
4. Lubricants

In the making of how many of the above are hydrofluorocarbons used?

a. Only one
b. Only two
c. Only three
d. All four

Question from UPSC Prelims 2023 GS Paper

Explanation : 

Correct Answer: c. Only three

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and their Applications

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are commonly used in various applications as replacements for ozone-depleting substances like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Let’s examine each of the given items:


HFCs are used as propellants in aerosol sprays, such as in some air fresheners, deodorants, and cleaning products.

Foam Agents

HFCs are used as blowing agents in the production of certain foams, including those used for insulation and packaging.

Fire Retardants

Some fire suppression systems and fire extinguishers use HFCs as the extinguishing agent.

Lubricants: HFCs are not typically used as lubricants. Lubricants are usually made from mineral oils, synthetic oils, or greases.

Therefore, hydrofluorocarbons are used in the making of three out of the four items listed: aerosols, foam agents, and fire retardants.

The correct answer is: c. Only three.

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