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  • The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change combines cutting-edge scientific research with independent policy analysis to provide a solid foundation for the public and private decisions needed to mitigate and adapt to unavoidable global environmental changes. Being data-driven, the Joint Program uses extensive Earth system and economic data and models to produce quantitative analysis and predictions of the risks of climate change and the challenges of limiting human influence on the environmentessential knowledge for the international dialogue toward a global response to climate change.

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    Reprint 2016-20

    Reprinted with permission from Environmental Science & Technology, 50(4): 20272034. 2016 American Chemical Society

    Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Emissions in China: An Inventory for 20052013 and Projections to 2050 Xuekun Fang, Guus J.M. Velders, A.R. Ravishankara, Mario J. Molina, Jianxin Hu and Ronald G. Prinn


  • Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Emissions in China: An Inventory for 20052013 and Projections to 2050Xuekun Fang,, Guus J. M. Velders,*, A. R. Ravishankara, Mario J. Molina, Jianxin Hu,*,

    and Ronald G. Prinn

    State Key Joint Laboratory for Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences andEngineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, ChinaCenter for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts02139, United StatesNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven 3720 BA, The NetherlandsDepartment of Chemistry and Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523,United StatesDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, United States

    *S Supporting Information

    ABSTRACT: Many hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are widely used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (now regulated under the Montreal Protocol) are very potent greenhousegases (GHGs). Chinas past and future HFC emissions are of great interest because China hasemerged as a major producer and consumer of HFCs. Here, we present for the first time acomprehensive inventory estimate of Chinas HFC emissions during 20052013. Results show arapid increase in HFC production, consumption, and emissions in China during the period andthat the emissions of HFC with a relatively high global warming potential (GWP) grew fasterthan those with a relatively low GWP. The proportions of Chinas historical HFC CO2-equivalentemissions to Chinas CO2 emissions or global HFC CO2-equivalent emissions increased rapidlyduring 20052013. Using the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, in which HFCs are used toreplace a significant fraction of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in China (to date, there areno regulations on HFC uses in China), emissions of HFCs are projected to be significantcomponents of Chinas and global future GHG emissions. However, potentials do exist forminimizing Chinas HFC emissions (for example, if regulations on HFC uses are established inChina). Our findings on Chinas historical and projected HFC emission trajectories could also apply to other developingcountries, with important implications for mitigating global GHG emissions.

    INTRODUCTIONTo address the challenge of the ozone-layer depletion, theparties to the Montreal Protocol agreed in 1987 to phase outthe production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances(ODSs): initially, it was mainly focused on chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs) and halons; hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) werelater targeted via a phase-out agreement.1,2 Hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) were and are widely used as substitutes for CFCs andHCFCs.3 Most HFCs are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs)with high global warming potentials (GWPs) and are includedunder the Kyoto Protocol.4 Atmospheric abundances of HFCsare rapidly increasing. For example, HFC-134a has increased by7.6% in 20112012, and other major HFCs have increasedsimilarly or even more in recent years.5 Global HFC CO2-equivalent emissions have strongly increased by about a factorof 6 since the 1990s,6 and in baseline scenarios, are projected toaccount for 919% of projected global CO2 emissions by 2050


    and up to 75% by 2050 in a CO2 scenario with strongmitigation.7 Indeed, HFC emissions, if left unabated couldoffset the CO2 mitigation measures. Thus, HFC emissions are

    of great interest to international policy makers and policynegotiators as well as domestic policy makers and managers.2

    Debates on controlling HFCs globally are underway; HFCs arebeing discussed even under the Montreal Protocol regime.In China, as a result of the phase-out of CFCs and HCFCs in

    compliance with the Montreal Protocol, HFC consumption hasincreased in the past. In some sectors, HFCs have been used asa substitute for CFCs since the 1990s. For example, since 2000,all new mobile air conditioners in China have used HFC-134ainstead of CFC-12.8 HFCs are now used as substitutes forHCFCs, whose consumption was frozen in 2013, and will bephased out in the coming decades. For example, R-410A (ablend of HFC-32 and HFC-125) has been increasingly used asthe refrigerant in new room air conditioners,9 in which HCFC-22 had been predominantly used in the past.

    Received: September 9, 2015Revised: December 19, 2015Accepted: January 5, 2016Published: January 5, 2016



    2016 American Chemical Society 2027 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04376Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, 50, 20272034


  • HFC emissions from China have been estimated usingbottom-up methods,10,11 ratio methods,1215 and the inverse-modeling methods.16,17 The Emission Database for GlobalAtmospheric Research (EDGAR) v4.2 provides information ononly HFC-134a and, even for that compound, for only through2008.10 Su et al. provides estimates of emissions for HFC-134athrough 2010.11 Thus, bottom-up information for HFC-134aemissions after 2010 and emission estimates for other HFCs forall years are lacking. Top-down studies (the ratio and inversemodeling methods) only provide emission estimates for acertain period (e.g., the year 2008 in Stohl et al.9). Thus, a fullpicture of historical HFC emissions in China cannot beobtained on the basis of these available studies.This study provides a comprehensive inventory of Chinas

    HFC consumption and emissions during 20052013 andprojects HFC consumption and emissions according to theHCFC phase-out schedule in compliance with the MontrealProtocol and potential HFC regulations in China.

    MATERIALS AND METHODSIn this study, we include HFC-32, HFC-125, HFC-134a, HFC-143a, HFC-152a, HFC-245fa, HFC-227ea, and HFC-236fa(Table S1 shows detailed information on each HFC). HFC-23was not considered because it has few intentional uses, and itsemissions mainly originate as a by-product of the production ofHCFC-22. The historical and projected emissions of HFC-23in China have been described in detail in Fang et al.18

    Estimation of Historical HFC Consumption during20052013. Consumption data for each HFCs during 20052009 were derived from survey of Chinas HFC industry19 thatwere also used by Zhang et al.20 For 20102013, annualconsumption data for HFCs are not available. However, datafor the annual production of each HFC are provided in anindustrial production database Web site (because the Web siteis not easily accessible, we have given the numbers in Table S2).The ratio of total consumption to total production for eachHFC during 2005200919 was used to estimate annual HFCconsumption based on the annual HFC production in 20102013 (see detailed estimation in Table S2). Discussion on thevariation of ratio of consumption to production is provided inthe Supporting Information text and Table S3. China is a mainproducer of HFCs in the world and produces almost all kindsof HFCs. The amount of HFCs produced in China is largerthan the amount consumed in China. Thus, no or minor HFCswere supposed to be imported into China. Regarding the HFCexport, the amount of HFC accounted under HFCconsumption is that in exported equipment (e.g., room airconditioners). Expor