Guidance

Calculate the carbon dioxide equivalent quantity of an F gas

Find out how to express the mass of a fluorinated greenhouse gas (F gas) in terms of CO2 so that you comply with EU regulations on F gases.

Some EU requirements for fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) have size thresholds.

The size thresholds are expressed in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. That takes into account how much a gas contributes to global warming, relative to carbon dioxide.

Calculate the carbon dioxide equivalent of a quantity of F gas

You calculate the carbon dioxide equivalent of a quantity of F gas by multiplying the mass of the gas (in tonnes), by the gas’ global warming potential (GWP).

You’ll usually find the mass of an F gas expressed in kilograms (kg) on product labels etc. To convert the mass to tonnes, divide by 1,000.

Global warming potentials for F gases are listed in the table of F gases regulated by the EU.

You can also find global warming potentials for the gases which have record keeping requirements under the EU regulation.

Example calculation

The amount in tonnes of CO2 equivalent is the mass (in tonnes) of F gas multiplied by the GWP of that F gas.

For example the global warming potential of HFC 404A is 3,922. Therefore the tonnes CO2 equivalent of 10kg of HFC 404a is calculated as follows:

  1. Mass (in tonnes) of F gas multiplied by GWP of F gas
  2. = (10/1,000) * 3,922
  3. = 39.2 tonnes CO2 equivalent

Table of CO2 equivalent thresholds for common F gases

For some common F gases, this table lists:

  • global warming potentials
  • the quantities that are equivalent to CO2 size thresholds used in the EU regulation
F gas global warming potential mass, in kg, equal to 5 tonnes CO2 mass, in kg, equal to 40 tonnes CO2 mass, in kg, equal to 50 tonnes CO2 mass, in kg, equal to 500 tonnes CO2
SF6 22,800 0.2 1.8 2.2 22
HFC 23 14,800 0.3 2.7 3.4 34
HFC 508B 13,396 0.4 3.0 3.7 37
HFC 143a 4,470 1.1 8.9 11.2 112
HFC 507A 3,985 1.3 10.0 12.5 125
HFC 404A 3,922 1.3 10.2 12.7 127
HFC 428A 3,607 1.4 11.1 13.8 139
HFC 125 3,500 1.4 11.4 14.3 143
HFC 434A 3,245 1.5 12.3 15.4 154
HFC 227ea 3,220 1.6 12.4 15.5 155
HFC 422A 3,143 1.6 12.7 15.9 159
HFC 422D 2,729 1.8 14.7 18.3 183
HFC 417A 2,346 2.1 17.1 21.3 213
HFC 423A 2,280 2.2 17.5 21.9 219
HFC 438A 2,264 2.2 17.7 22.1 221
HFC 427A 2,138 2.3 18.7 23.4 234
HFC 407A 2,107 2.4 19.0 23.7 237
HFC 410A 2,088 2.4 19.2 23.9 239
HFC 442A 1,888 2.6 21.2 26.5 265
HFC 407F 1,825 2.7 21.9 27.4 274
HFC 437A 1,805 2.8 22.2 27.7 277
HFC 407C 1,774 2.8 22.5 28.2 282
HFC 426A 1,508 3.3 26.5 33.2 332
HFC 134a 1,430 3.5 28.0 35.0 350
HFC 245fa 1,030 4.9 38.8 48.5 485
HFC 365mfc 794 6.3 50.4 63.0 630
HFC 32 675 7.4 74.1 74.1 741
HFC 152a 124 40.3 322.6 403.2 4,032
Published 31 December 2014