Scientists suspect higher CFC emissions include CFC12 and 113

May 22, 2021 | News

USA: While illegal emissions of the banned CFC11 have been identified in recent years, a new report points to higher emissions of the ozone-depleting gas, along with emissions of CFC12 and CFC113.

The new study by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claims that estimates of new global CFC11 emissions is higher than previously reported. This is also the first study to quantify new global emissions of CFC12 and CFC113 and implies that new, illegal production of these CFCs has likely occurred in recent years.

“We find total emissions coming from new production is on the order of 20 gigagrams [20,000 tonnes] a year for each of these molecules,” said lead author Megan Lickley, a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. “This is higher than what previous scientists suggested for CFC11, and also identifies likely new emissions of CFC12 and 113, which previously had been overlooked.”

A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2018 revealed that despite a supposed global phase out in 2010, emissions of CFC11 has been rising again since 2013. Much of this was later traced to illegal manufacturing and use in the Chinese insulation industry. 

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