The necessity of studying chemical reactions of the clean agent heptafluoropropane in fire extinguishment

Wan Ki Chow, E. P.F. Lee, F. T. Chau, J. M. Dyke

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Halon-based products for gas protection systems against fire will be abandoned completely, probably in China by 2008. Clean agents with zero ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential now are actively being developed. One of the candidates is heptafluoropropane and total flooding systems based on it are starting to be widely used in computer rooms, switching facilities and many other facilities. However, the extinguishing mechanism of heptafluoropropane with afire is not well-understood. It is believed that physical flame cooling is the main mechanism. Heat will be absorbed efficiently from the flame reaction zone to reduce its temperature. Apart from flame cooling, whether there are chemical inhibition effects must be further investigated in order to give a better understanding on the extinguishing properties of the agent. Pointing out the importance of studying the associated gas-phase chemistry is the objective of this paper. Results in the literature will be briefly reviewed. In unfavourable cases, using a clean agent with a low capability to suppress a fire might generate more pollutants which damage the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Chemical reactions
  • Fire extinguishment
  • Heptafluoropropane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture


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