Back to overview

First observations, trends and emissions of HCFC-31 (CH2ClF) in the global atmosphere

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Schoenenberger Fabian, Vollmer Martin, Rigby Matt, Hill Matthias, Fraser Paul, Krummel Paul, Langenfelds Ray, Rhee Tae Siek, Peter Thomas, Reimann Stefan,
Project Measurement-based verification of regional emissions of halogenated greenhouse gases
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Volume (Issue) 42(18)
Page(s) 7817 - 7824
Title of proceedings Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2015gl064709


We report the first multiyear atmospheric record of HCFC-31 (CH2ClF), based on flask samples and in situ analyses of air from both hemispheres. Although HCFC-31 has never been produced in large amounts, observed mole fractions in the Northern Hemisphere increased from 2000 onward, reaching 170 ppq (parts per quadrillion, 10–15) in 2011-2012 before decreasing rapidly. By combining our observations with a two-dimensional atmospheric chemistry-transport model, we infer an increase in global emissions from 240 t yr–1 in 2000 to 840 t yr–1 in 2011-2012, followed by a relatively fast decline to 570 t yr–1 in 2014. Emissions of HCFC-31 originate most probably from intermediate product release during the manufacturing process of HFC-32 (CH2F2). The rapid decline in recent years could be due to changes in production methods rather than declines in diffusive sources such as landfills or HCFC-31 contaminations in merchandised HFC-32.