Publications by authors named "Matthias Hill"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Unexpected nascent atmospheric emissions of three ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 02;118(5)

Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia.

Global and regional atmospheric measurements and modeling can play key roles in discovering and quantifying unexpected nascent emissions of environmentally important substances. We focus here on three hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) that are restricted by the Montreal Protocol because of their roles in stratospheric ozone depletion. Based on measurements of archived air samples and on in situ measurements at stations of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) network, we report global abundances, trends, and regional enhancements for HCFC-132b ([Formula: see text]), which is newly discovered in the atmosphere, and updated results for HCFC-133a ([Formula: see text]) and HCFC-31 ([Formula: see text]ClF). No purposeful end-use is known for any of these compounds. We find that HCFC-132b appeared in the atmosphere 20 y ago and that its global emissions increased to 1.1 Gg⋅y by 2019. Regional top-down emission estimates for East Asia, based on high-frequency measurements for 2016-2019, account for ∼95% of the global HCFC-132b emissions and for ∼80% of the global HCFC-133a emissions of 2.3 Gg⋅y during this period. Global emissions of HCFC-31 for the same period are 0.71 Gg⋅y Small European emissions of HCFC-132b and HCFC-133a, found in southeastern France, ceased in early 2017 when a fluorocarbon production facility in that area closed. Although unreported emissive end-uses cannot be ruled out, all three compounds are most likely emitted as intermediate by-products in chemical production pathways. Identification of harmful emissions to the atmosphere at an early stage can guide the effective development of global and regional environmental policy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2010914118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865182PMC
February 2021

Long-term Observations of Atmospheric Halogenated Organic Trace Gases.

Chimia (Aarau) 2020 Mar;74(3):136-141

Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Überlandstr. 129, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and other strong ozone-depleting halogenated organic trace gases were used in numerous industrial, household and agriculture applications. First atmospheric measurements of CFCs were performed in the 1970s, well ahead of the detection of the ozone hole in the 1980s. The continuous observation of these ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) is crucial for monitoring their global ban within the Montreal Protocol. In addition, also HFCs (fluorinated hydrocarbons) are measured, which were introduced as substitutes of ODSs and are potent greenhouse gases. Since 2000, Empa continuously measures more than 50 halogenated trace gases at the high-Alpine station of Jungfraujoch (3850 m asl) as part of the global AGAGE network (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment). Jungfraujoch is the highest location worldwide where such measurements are performed, and the site where several of these compounds were measured in the atmosphere for the first time. The measurements at Jungfraujoch and at other globally well-positioned sites serve as an early warning system, before potentially harmful halogenated organic substances can accumulate and detrimentally affect the natural environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2533/chimia.2020.136DOI Listing
March 2020

First observations of the fourth generation synthetic halocarbons HFC-1234yf, HFC-1234ze(E), and HCFC-1233zd(E) in the atmosphere.

Environ Sci Technol 2015 Mar 16;49(5):2703-8. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology , Dubendorf, 8600, Switzerland.

Halogenated alkenes are a class of anthropogenic substances, which replace ozone-depleting substances and long-lived greenhouse gases in the foam-blowing, refrigeration, and solvent sectors. We report the first multiyear atmospheric measurements of the hydrofluorocarbons HFC-1234yf (2,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene, CF3CF═CH2), and HFC-1234ze(E) (E-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene trans-CF3CH═CHF), and the hydrochlorofluorocarbon HCFC-1233zd(E) (E-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene trans-CF3CH═CHCl) from the high altitude observatory at Jungfraujoch and from urban Dubendorf (Switzerland). When observations started in 2011 HFC-1234yf was undetectable at Jungfraujoch (mole fractions <0.003 ppt, parts-per-trillion, 10(-12)) but since then the percentage of measurements with detectable mole fractions has steadily increased to 4.5% in 2014. By contrast, in 2014 HFC-1234ze(E) was detectable in half of our samples at Jungfraujoch and in all samples at Dubendorf demonstrating the wide use of this compound within the air mass footprints of the stations. Our back trajectory analysis for the Jungfraujoch observations suggests high emission strength of HFC-1234ze(E) in the Belgium/Netherlands region. HCFC-1233zd(E) is present at very low mole fractions (typically <0.03 ppt) at both stations, and features pronounced seasonality and a general absence of pollution events during our 2013-2014 measurements. This is indicative of the presence of significant emissions from source locations outside the footprints of the two stations. Based on a simple one-box model calculation we estimate globally increasing HCFC-1233zd(E) emissions from 0.2 Gg yr(-1) in 2013 to 0.5 Gg yr(-1) for 2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es505123xDOI Listing
March 2015

European emissions of halogenated greenhouse gases inferred from atmospheric measurements.

Environ Sci Technol 2012 Jan 16;46(1):217-25. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), Duebendorf, Switzerland.

European emissions of nine representative halocarbons (CFC-11, CFC-12, Halon 1211, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HCFC-22, HFC-125, HFC-134a, HFC-152a) are derived for the year 2009 by combining long-term observations in Switzerland, Italy, and Ireland with campaign measurements from Hungary. For the first time, halocarbon emissions over Eastern Europe are assessed by top-down methods, and these results are compared to Western European emissions. The employed inversion method builds on least-squares optimization linking atmospheric observations with calculations from the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART. The aggregated halocarbon emissions over the study area are estimated at 125 (106-150) Tg of CO(2) equiv/y, of which the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) make up the most important fraction with 41% (31-52%). We find that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions from banks are still significant and account for 35% (27-43%) of total halocarbon emissions in Europe. The regional differences in per capita emissions are only small for the HFCs, while emissions of CFCs and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) tend to be higher in Western Europe compared to Eastern Europe. In total, the inferred per capita emissions are similar to estimates for China, but 3.5 (2.3-4.5) times lower than for the United States. Our study demonstrates the large benefits of adding a strategically well placed measurement site to the existing European observation network of halocarbons, as it extends the coverage of the inversion domain toward Eastern Europe and helps to better constrain the emissions over Central Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es202453jDOI Listing
January 2012

Real-world emission factors for antimony and other brake wear related trace elements: size-segregated values for light and heavy duty vehicles.

Environ Sci Technol 2009 Nov;43(21):8072-8

Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, CH-8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland.

Hourly trace element measurements were performed in an urban street canyon and next to an interurban freeway in Switzerland during more than one month each, deploying a rotating drum impactor (RDI) and subsequent sample analysis by synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (SR-XRF). Antimony and other brake wear associated elements were detected in three particle size ranges (2.5-10, 1-2.5, and 0.1-1 microm). The hourly measurements revealed that the effect of resuspended road dust has to be taken into account for the calculation of vehicle emission factors. Individual values for light and heavy duty vehicles were obtained for stop-and-go traffic in the urban street canyon. Mass based brake wear emissions were predominantly found in the coarse particle fraction. For antimony, determined emission factors were 11 +/- 7 and 86 +/- 42 microg km(-1) vehicle(-1) for light and heavy duty vehicles, respectively. Antimony emissions along the interurban freeway with free-flowing traffic were significantly lower. Relative patterns for brake wear related elements were very similar for both considered locations. Beside vehicle type specific brake wear emissions, road dust resuspension was found to be a dominant contributor of antimony in the street canyon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es9006096DOI Listing
November 2009

Trace metals in ambient air: Hourly size-segregated mass concentrations determined by synchrotron-XRF.

Environ Sci Technol 2005 Aug;39(15):5754-62

Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland.

Trace metals are ubiquitous in urban ambient air, with mass concentrations in the range of a few microg/m3 down to less than 100 pg/m3. To measure such low concentrations represents a challenge for chemical and physical analysis. In this study, ambient aerosol was collected in Zürich (Switzerland) in 1-h intervals and three size fractions (aerodynamic diameters 0.1-1 microm, 1-2.5 microm, and 2.5-10 microm), using a three-stage rotating drum impactor (RDI). The samples were analyzed by energy-dispersive Synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (SR-XRF) to obtain size-segregated hourly elemental aerosol mass concentrations for Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Br, and Pb, along with S, Cl, and Ca under the selected experimental conditions. The high sensitivity of SR-XRF allowed for detection limits of <50 pg/m3 for most of the above elements, with a net analysis time of only 15 s per sample. The data obtained with this technique illustrate that there is a considerable gain of relevant information when time resolution for measurements is increased from 1 day to 1 h. The individual size fractions of a specific element may show significantly different short-term patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es048089mDOI Listing
August 2005

Low European methyl chloroform emissions inferred from long-term atmospheric measurements.

Nature 2005 Feb;433(7025):506-8

Empa, Institute of Materials Science and Technology, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland.

Methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3, 1,1,1,-trichloroethane) was used widely as a solvent before it was recognized to be an ozone-depleting substance and its phase-out was introduced under the Montreal Protocol. Subsequently, its atmospheric concentration has declined steadily and recent European methyl chloroform consumption and emissions were estimated to be less than 0.1 gigagrams per year. However, data from a short-term tropospheric measurement campaign (EXPORT) indicated that European methyl chloroform emissions could have been over 20 gigagrams in 2000 (ref. 6), almost doubling previously estimated global emissions. Such enhanced emissions would significantly affect results from the CH3CC13 method of deriving global abundances of hydroxyl radicals (OH) (refs 7-12)-the dominant reactive atmospheric chemical for removing trace gases related to air pollution, ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. Here we use long-term, high-frequency data from Mace Head, Ireland and Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, to infer European methyl chloroform emissions. We find that European emission estimates declined from about 60 gigagrams per year in the mid-1990s to 0.3-1.4 and 1.9-3.4 gigagrams per year in 2000-03, based on Mace Head and Jungfraujoch data, respectively. Our European methyl chloroform emission estimates are therefore higher than calculated from consumption data, but are considerably lower than those derived from the EXPORT campaign in 2000 (ref. 6).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature03220DOI Listing
February 2005