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

Fabian Schoenenberger*, Martin K. Vollmer, Matthew Rigby, Matthias Hill, Paul J. Fraser, Paul B. Krummel, Ray L. Langenfelds, Tae Siek Rhee, Thomas Peter, Stefan Reimann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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. Key Point First observations of HCFC-31 in the atmosphere

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7817-7824
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2015


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