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US consumption and supplies of sulphur hexafluoride reported under the greenhouse gas reporting program

Ottinger, Deborah, Averyt, Mollie, Harris, Deborah
Journal of integrative environmental sciences 2015 v.12 no.sup1 pp. 5-16
United States Environmental Protection Agency, emissions, exports, greenhouse gases, imports, magnesium, manufacturing, semiconductors, sulfur hexafluoride, uncertainty, United States
Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) receives reports of production, imports and exports of SF ₆ in bulk and inside of electrical equipment. EPA also receives reports of SF ₆ emissions, consumption and/or related parameters from users of SF ₆, including manufacturers and users of electrical transmission and distribution equipment, semiconductor manufacturers, and magnesium producers and processers. Based on these reports, EPA estimates the consumption of SF ₆ by each industry, including facilities that do not report to the GHGRP. In this paper, we compare the consumption estimated based on reports from SF ₆ suppliers (producers, importers and exporters) to the consumption estimated based on reports from SF ₆ users, discussing differences and possible reasons for them. We find that in the one year studied, 2012, consumption based on reports from users accounted for 59% of the consumption based on reports from suppliers. We conclude that the uncertainties associated with the consumption estimates are not likely to explain this difference, and that there may be significant uses of SF ₆ in the US other than manufacturing and use of electrical equipment, semiconductor manufacturing, and magnesium production and processing.