Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: Semiconductor Manufacturing
- Baseline emissions from semiconductor manufacturing are projected to increase slowly from 18 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2010 to 22 MtCO2e in 2030.
- The global abatement potential ranges from 0.2 MtCO2e at today’s forecasted energy prices to the technological maximum potential of 4.2 MtCO2e.
- 20% of the total abatement potential in this sector is achievable at costs at or below $30/tCO2e.
The semiconductor manufacturing industry uses several fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-GHGs), including sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and perfluorcarbons (PFCs) during fabrication. Trace amounts of these gases are incidentally released into the atmosphere through normal fabrication activities. In 2010, 18 MtCO2e of emissions were produced from the semiconductor manufacturing sector.
Emissions Reduction Potential
Assuming full implementation of current technology, emissions in the semiconductor manufacturing sector could be reduced by up to 4 MtCO2e in 2030. This accounts for 0.09% of the 4,615 MtCO2e in global reduction potential in 2030.
Global F-GHG abatement potential in the semiconductor manufacturing industry is estimated to be 4.6 MtCO2e and 4.2 MtCO2e in 2020 and 2030, respectively, which correspond to 23% and 20% of business as usual (BAU) emissions from this sector. In 2030, the abatement potential of 1 MtCO2e, or 4%, is achievable at abatement costs below $30 per tCO2e.
Despite rapid growth between 2000 and 2010, the semiconductor manufacturing industry experienced a stark decline in F-GHG emissions, decreasing from 28 MtCO2e in 2000 to 18 MtCO2e in 2010. This decline can be attributed to voluntary emissions reduction goals set by the World Semiconductor Council. Additionally, six abatement technologies were considered to further reduce emissions from this sector: thermal abatement systems, catalytic abatement systems, plasma abatement systems, NF3 remote chamber clean process, gas replacement, and process optimization.