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F-Gas monitoring device installed at German observatory

Goethe University has recently installed a state-of-the-art measuring device at its Taunus Observatory near Frankfurt, Germany, to provide precise monitoring of halogenated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Under the leadership of Professor Andreas Engel, the team is making exceptional strides in comprehending the environmental impact of fluorinated gases (F-gases).

Their groundbreaking study, named ‘Medusa’, aims to shed light on the presence and behaviour of F-gases such as R410A, R32 and R134a widely used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. 

The research is significant as concerns have arisen about their long-term sustainability and contribution to climate change, despite not harming the ozone layer as CFCs and HCFCs do.

Understanding the impact of F-gases on the environment is seen as crucial for addressing climate change. By analysing air samples and employing advanced monitoring techniques, researchers are working to gather data on the behaviour and distribution of these gases.

Their objective is to gain insights into F-gases as greenhouse gases and develop effective strategies to minimise their environmental impact.

Professor Andreas Engel explained: “Our measurements have already clearly shown that there are significant sources of F-gases in Germany. We have therefore joined forces within an EU-funded project with other researchers, primarily from Germany, Switzerland and the UK, to quantify F-gas emissions on the basis of these measurements with the help of computer models and to further narrow down their regions of origin.”

The Medusa study, conducted as part of ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure), has been monitoring climate-related trace gases globally since 1978.

Its F-Gas study is anticipated to provide essential data to guide policymakers, industries, and environmental organisations in making informed decisions about the regulation and management of synthetic greenhouse gases and their emissions.

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