Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Supplies Reported to the GHGRP
Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-GHGs) include the most potent and longest lasting greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) covers emissions of these compounds by requiring specific facilities that emit significant quantities of these compounds to report their annual emissions. These emitters include producers of fluorinated gases (F-gases) and other emitters of F-GHGs. The GHGRP also requires companies that supply these compounds (i.e. producers, importers and exporters) to report the quantity of each gas supplied each year. This page contains information about supplies and emissions of F-gases and presents summary data and graphics. For more general information about fluorinated greenhouse gases, please visit the Overview of Greenhouse Gases page.
On this page:
- Overview of Suppliers and Emitters of Fluorinated GHGs
- Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs
- Fluorinated GHG Emissions from Fluorinated Gas Production
- Other Emissions of Fluorinated GHGs
- Other Resources
Overview of Suppliers and Emitters of Fluorinated GHGs
- Suppliers: These companies report information about the GHGs that they supply to the economy. Suppliers report the GHGs that would be emitted if all products that they produce, import, and export were released to the atmosphere by their customers. Data reported by suppliers of these gases are important because most emissions of these compounds come from small pieces of equipment (refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.) whose direct emissions are not reported to the GHGRP.
- Producers: These facilities emit fluorinated greenhouse gases during production of fluorinated chemicals for industrial and commercial use. Thus, many of these facilities are both emitters and suppliers of fluorinated GHGs.
- Other emitters: These facilities either:
- Generate fluorinated greenhouse gases as unintentional by-products of industrial processes (e.g., aluminum production); or
- Receive and subsequently use fluorinated greenhouse gases in certain manufacturing processes (e.g., electronics). Some fluorinated greenhouse gases are unintentionally released from these manufacturing processes.
The following diagram illustrates the types of facilities required to report fluorinated greenhouse gas data to the GHGRP.
Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs
Suppliers of GHGs include producers, importers, and exporters of industrial gases (including F-GHGs) and importers and exporters of F-GHGs in pre-charged equipment (e.g. air conditioners, circuit breakers) and closed-cell foams. All producers must report. Additionally, companies that import or export 25,000 metric tons CO2e or more of F-GHGs, N2O and CO2 per year, either in bulk or in pre-charged equipment and closed-cell foams, must report their imports and exports. The chart below presents a summary of the net supply of F-GHGs, using data reported under Subpart OO and Subpart QQ. The "net supply" or "net CO2e" means the CO2e quantities of bulk gas produced + imported – exported – transformed – destroyed.
Quantities (Net Supply) of GHGs Reported
(Quantities are presented in million metric tons per year of net CO2ea)
|Saturated HFCs in bulk, excluding HFC-23||235||241||227||278||254||264||240||285||304||294|
|Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in bulk||18||34||35||27||30||25||25||22||28||c|
|Imports minus exports of Saturated HFCs in products and foams||N/A||7.4||17.7||16.6||24.6||26.2||28.1||32.4||34.1||29.6|
|Imports minus exports of SF6 in pre-charged equipment||N/A||-0.25||b||-0.18||-0.16||-0.14||-0.13||-0.12||-0.13||-0.083|
|a Net supply or net CO2e means CO2e quantities of bulk gas produced + imported – exported – transformed – destroyed.
b At this time, the aggregation does not meet EPA's criteria for ensuring that CBI is protected.
c EPA is currently evaluating whether this aggregation meets EPA's criteria for ensuring that CBI is protected.
All values are as of 1/15/21
Bulk gas suppliers and importers and exporters of equipment containing fluorinated GHGs also report quantities of other fluorinated GHGs supplied (not shown).
Fluorinated GHG Emissions from Fluorinated Gas Production
Facilities with F-gas production processes must report to the GHGRP if their emissions, in the absence of controls, would equal 25,000 metric tons CO2e per year or more, with one exception: any facility that produces hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 must report if the production process generates hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-23 as a byproduct. In addition, facilities that operate devices to destroy more than 2.14 metric tons of HFC-23 annually must report. (Note that production facilities, like other facilities reporting to the GHGRP, can cease reporting if their emissions or supplies consistently fall below certain levels for certain numbers of years. Please see the Subpart A Information Sheet or this FAQ page. )
The five main types of fluorinated GHGs are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and other fully fluorinated greenhouse gases. These fluorinated GHGs can be emitted from F-gas production as by-products, reactants, intermediates, or products, and from process vents, leaks, container venting, or destruction processes.
HFCs are primarily used as refrigerants, foam-blowing agents, aerosol propellants, solvents and fire suppressants.[*] HFCs, among other compounds, are substitutes for chemicals that deplete the Earth’s protective ozone layer (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs and halons). These ozone-depleting chemicals are not reported under the GHGRP but are covered by EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 82 (see https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection).
The chart below shows reported emissions from F-gas production, by gas, over time. It includes data reported under Subpart O (HFC-23 emissions from HCFC-22 production) and Subpart L (F-GHG emissions from other F-gas production). Overall, emissions fell by 8.7 MMT CO2e between 2011 and 20191 due to increases in voluntary emission controls at facilities (e.g., use of destruction devices) and some variation in the types and quantities of F-gases produced. HFC-23 emissions from HCFC-22 Production fell by 58% between 2011 and 2019, while emissions of F-GHGs from other production processes fell by 47% over the same time period. Note that this chart includes only data from production emissions and that the actual produced gases (supply) are accounted for in the Supplies of Fluorinated GHGs section.
[*] One exception is HFC-23, which is primarily emitted as an unintentional byproduct from the production of HCFC-22 and other F-GHGs.
1 As of 9/26/20.
Other Emissions of Fluorinated GHGs
Other fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions come from manufacturing processes for aluminum, magnesium, electronics (e.g. semiconductors), and electrical transmission and distribution equipment. Fluorinated GHGs are also emitted as gas leaks during the filling, use, and servicing of electrical transmission and distribution equipment, which use SF6 for electrical insulation. Manufacturers of magnesium, manufacturers of electronics, and manufacturers and users of electrical transmission and distribution equipment that exceed the applicable reporting threshold must report to the GHGRP. All aluminum manufacturing facilities are required to report.
The chart below shows the quantity of each type of fluorinated greenhouse gas reported by each industry that reports direct emissions and the number of reporters in that industry, excluding F-gas producers (discussed above). It includes data reported under Subpart F, Subpart I, Subpart T, Subpart DD, and Subpart SS.
1 As of 9/26/20.
For 2019, reported fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions from these other emitters were about 9.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e).1
- GHGRP Website
- Resources by Subpart for GHG Reporting
- GHGRP Data Highlights pages have F-GHG information by industry sector:
- FLIGHT (search for reporting facilities by location or industry sector)
- Envirofacts (download all data reported by these facilities)
- U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer