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Octafluoropropane: the potential and future of C3F8

About octafluoropropane

Octafluoropropane (also known as C3F8 and halocarbon 218) is made by either chemical fluorination or by a procedure known as the Fowler process, which was created in World War II to develop enough coolant liquid for uranium enrichment. There are no natural sources.


Applications of octafluoropropane

  • In the semiconductor industry it is used as an efficient cleaning and etching mechanism (NAICS 334413)
  • C3F8 is a component in refrigeration mixtures (NAICS 333415).
  • In medicine C3F8 is used in contrast-enhanced ultrasound and in tamponade (plugging) procedures to repair a retina hole or tear in the eye. It qualifies for medical procedures because it is inert—it doesn’t react with human tissue—and it is easy to inject because of low viscosity.
  • In the search for dark matter, C3F8 also plays a major role. Physicists employ it in bubble chambers because of its sensitivity to various particles and their actions, such as proton scattering. Detection of dark matter was called “one of the most important topics in modern physics” at the 2015 Multiphysics Conference in Spain.
  • If humans ever succeed in settling on Mars, C3F8 will have a major role due to its greenhouse gas effect (24,000 times greater than CO2), which will make terraforming faster and less resource-intensive


Where to buy octafluoropropane

Electronic Fluorocarbons has global partnerships and multiple suppliers that make us the go-to source for specialty gases like C3F8. We provide C3F8 at the highest purity levels possible: 99.96%, 99.97%, and 99.99%. We ship it under its own vapor pressure (100 psig at 70°F) in cylinders sized from 15 to 100 pounds. For additional information/ordering call 1-888-924-3371 or email us at

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