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A difficult breakup

Separating fluorine from carbon could neutralize super-greenhouse gases

3:19pm, August 28, 2008
By identifying a new way to wrestle fluorine from carbon compounds, chemists may now be able to break down certain types of greenhouse gases before they reach the atmosphere.

Some of the most potent manmade greenhouse gases are also among the most difficult chemicals to destroy, and the most persistent once released into the environment. Scientists report in the Aug. 29 Science that they have managed to force these gases to chemically react, turning them into more benign compounds.

For now, the process offers only a proof of concept. But the work opens the door to new ways of disposing of these materials. “O

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