Emissions of Tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and Hexafluoroethane (C2F6) From East Asia: 2008 to 2019

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Volume 126, Issue 16, p.e2021JD034888 (2021)






Abstract The perfluorocarbons (PFCs), tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and hexafluoroethane (C2F6), are potent greenhouse gases with very long atmospheric lifetimes. They are emitted almost entirely from industrial sources, including the aluminum and rare earth metal smelting industries that emit them as by-products, and the semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing industries that use them and vent unutilized amounts to the atmosphere. Despite extensive industrial efforts to quantify and curb these emissions, ?top-down? PFC emission estimates derived from atmospheric measurements continue to rise and are significantly greater than reported process- and inventory-based ?bottom-up? emissions. In this study, we estimate emissions of CF4 and C2F6 from East Asia, where PFC emitting industries are heavily concentrated, using a top-down approach (a Bayesian inversion) with high-frequency atmospheric measurements at Gosan (Jeju Island, South Korea) for 2008?2019. We also compile and analyze the available bottom-up CF4 and C2F6 emissions in East Asia from industrial and government reports. Our results suggest that the observed increases in global PFC emissions since 2015 are driven primarily by China's aluminum industry, with significant contributions from Japan's and Korea's semiconductor industry. Our analysis suggests that Chinese emissions occur predominantly from the aluminum industry, although their emissions per production ratio may be improving. Our results for Japan and Korea find significant discrepancies between top-down and bottom-up emissions estimates, suggesting that the effectiveness of emission reduction systems (abatement) used in their semiconductor industries may be overestimated. Overall, our top-down results for East Asia contribute significantly to reducing the gap in the global PFC emission budgets.