Real-World Verification of Methyl Bromide (CH3Br) Phase-Out in Europe and its Partial Replacement with Sulfuryl Fluoride (SO2F2)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Stefan Reimann1, Martin K Vollmer1, Dominik Brunner1, Stephan Henne1, Michela Maione2 and Igor Arduini2, (1)Empa, Duebendorf, Switzerland, (2)University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy
In the last decades methyl bromide (CH3Br) has been widely used for pest control in agriculture, during transport and in susceptible environments such as grain elevators, flour mills. Due to its ozone-depleting properties most applications, except for quarantine-preshipment uses, are practically forbidden within the Montreal Protocol and its amendments. This led to a decline of both world-wide emissions and of global background concentrations. In Europe, emissions have declined concurrently, as CH3Br has not been allowed to be used in Europe from 2007 onwards in agriculture and from 2010 in quarantine/preshipment uses. Continuous measurements from the European high-altitude sites Jungfraujoch (Switzerland) and Monte Cimone (Italy) are used to verify this phase-out in different parts of Europe. Pollution events were still detected at these sites until around 2012, potentially indicating forbidden small scale usage of CH3Br in Europe. However, within the last 2 years the abundance and the height of these events have become very small - showing an overall good acceptance of the CH3Br ban in Europe.

On the other hand, sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2) is used as a partial replacement of CH3Br in the fumigation of food processing structures. It shows very distinct, sporadic peak events at the Jungfraujoch measurement site. SO2F2 does not affect the ozone layer but is a potent greenhouse gas (100-year GWP: 4740) with a lifetime of 36 years. European sources of SO2F2 were estimated by using measurements at Jungfraujoch.