Quantifying aluminum and semiconductor industry perfluorocarbon emissions from atmospheric measurements

Jooil Kim, Paul J. Fraser, Shanlan Li, Jens Muehle, Anita L. Ganesan, Paul B. Krummel, L. Paul Steele, Sunyoung Park, Seung-Kyu Kim, Mi-Kyung Park, Tim Arnold, Christina M. Harth, Peter K. Salameh, Ronald G. Prinn, Ray F. Weiss, Kyung-Ryul Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The potent anthropogenic perfluorocarbon greenhouse gases tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and hexafluoroethane (C2F6) are emitted to the atmosphere mainly by the aluminum and semiconductor industries. Global emissions of these perfluorocarbons (PFCs) calculated from atmospheric measurements are significantly greater than expected from reported national and industry-based emission inventories. In this study, in situ measurements of the two PFCs in the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment network are used to show that their emission ratio varies according to the relative regional presence of these two industries, providing an industry-specific emission "signature" to apportion the observed emissions. Our results suggest that underestimated emissions from the global semiconductor industry during 1990-2010, as well as from China's aluminum industry after 2002, account for the observed differences between emissions based on atmospheric measurements and on inventories. These differences are significant despite the large uncertainties in emissions based on the methodologies used by these industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4787-4794
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • GAS
  • CF4
  • PFCS
  • SF6


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