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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emissions of primary particles and secondary particulate matter precursors / Emissions of primary particles and secondary particulate matter precursors (CSI 003) - Assessment published Dec 2008

Emissions of primary particles and secondary particulate matter precursors (CSI 003) - Assessment published Dec 2008

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Environment and health Environment and health

Industry Industry

Tags:
particulate matter | air emissions
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 003
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2006, 2008
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: What progress is being made in reducing emissions of primary particulate matter (PM10) and secondary particulate matter precursors?

Key messages

  • Total emissions of primary particulate matter (PM10) and secondary particulate precursors (nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3)) have reduced by 44% across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2006.
  • Of this reduction, 43% has taken place in the 'energy industries' sector due to the fuel-switching from coal to natural gas for electricity generation and improvements in the performance of pollution abatement equipment installed at industrial facilities.
  • Emissions of primary PM10 particulate matter make only a small contribution to total particulate matter formation - 13% in 2006. The majority of particulate matter is formed from emissions of the secondary particulate precursors. Of the particulate-forming pollutants, reductions of SO2 that have taken place since 1990 have accounted for 60% of the overall reduction in particulate emissions, with NOx accounting for a further 30% of the observed reduction. The reduction in emissions of primary particles has accounted for only 6% of the overall reduction.

Emissions of primary and secondary fine (PM10) particulate matter

Note: No data available for Iceland.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Change in emissions of primary PM10 and secondary particulate matter precursors

Note: No data available for Iceland.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Emissions of primary particulate matter (PM10) and secondary particulate precursors have reduced by 44% across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2006 (Figure 1). Emissions of these pollutants are weighted using a factor that reflects their specific particulate matter formation potential prior to aggregation - see the CSI 003 indicator specification for further details. Within most individual countries, emissions of primary and secondary PM10 have decreased significantly since 1990 (Figure 2). The largest reductions have been reported by Luxembourg (-78%), the Czech Republic (-76%) and Slovakia (-68%). In contrast emissions have increased in four countries since 1990 - Cyprus (8%), Turkey (4%), Greece (1%) and Austria (0.4%).

Emissions of primary PM10 particulate matter make only a small contribution to total particulate matter formation - 13 % of the EEA-32 emissions in 2006. Collectively, emissions of the secondary particulate precursor pollutants NOx (52%), SO2 (23%) and NH3 (12%) were the most important pollutants contributing to particulate formation in the EEA-32 in 2006.

Emissions of both primary PM10 and the secondary precursor pollutants have all decreased since 1990 (Figure 4). Between 1990 and 2006, emissions of primary PM10 have declined by 28%. However, emission reductions for the secondary particulate matter precursors account for the vast majority of the total reduction of particulate matter during this period - reductions of SO2 emissions account for 60 % of the overall reduction in particulate matter formation, with NOx accounting for a further 30% (Figure 5).

The reductions in total emissions of particulate matter between 1990 and 2006 have been mainly due to the introduction or improvement of abatement measures across the energy, road transport, and industry sectors coupled with other developments in industrial sectors such as fuel switching from high-sulphur containing fuels to low-sulphur fuels. Emissions of primary PM10 and secondary PM10 precursors are expected to decrease in the future as vehicle technologies are further improved and stationary fuel combustion emissions are controlled through abatement or use of low sulphur fuels such as natural gas. Despite this, it is expected that within many of the urban areas across the EU, PM10 concentrations will still be well above the EU limit values for PM10. Substantial further reductions in emissions will therefore be needed if the air quality limit value set in the EU's Air Quality Directive is to be reached.

The EU National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) and the Gothenburg protocol to the UNECE LRTAP Convention also both set ceilings (i.e. limits) for the secondary particulate matter precursors NH3, NOx and SOx that countries must meet by 2010 [1]. Further details concerning the overall progress toward the 2010 ceilings for these pollutants may be found in the indicator fact sheet CSI 001 Emissions of acidifying substances, with additional details concerning the individual secondary particulate matter precursor pollutants available in the following indicator fact sheets:

[1] The NECD and Gothenburg protocol also set an emission ceiling for non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) which contribute to ground-level ozone formation.

Specific policy question: How do different sectors and processes contribute to emissions of PM10 and their precursors?

Emissions by sector of PM10 particulate matter (Primary and Secondary)

Note: Due to numerical rounding, values may not add exactly to 100%

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Change in Particulate (Primary and Secondary) emissions for each sector and pollutant between 1990 and 2006

Note: No data available for Iceland.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in Particulate (Primary and Secondary) emissions for each sector and pollutant

Note: 'Contribution to change' plots show the contribution to the total emission change between 1990-2006 made by a specified sector/ pollutant

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

The most important sources of primary PM10 and secondary particulate precursor emissions in 2006 across the EEA-32 region were the 'energy industries' (28 %), (22 %) 'agriculture' (14 %) and 'industry (energy)' (12 %) sectors (Figure 3). When emissions of only primary PM10 are considered, the 'other (energy)' sector is the main emission source, contributing 25% of total primary PM10 emissions. This sector includes combustion-related emissions from e.g. heating of residential and commercial properties.

Since 1990, emissions of primary and secondary PM10 from all sectors have decreased (Figure 4). Since 1990, emissions from the combustion-related sectors 'energy industries', 'industry (energy)' and 'road transport' have in particular reduced significantly, contributing 43%, 17% and 17% respectively of the total reduction of particulate matter emissions (Figure 5). As described in the main assessment, a combination of factors has contributed to the reduction of both primary PM10 and secondary particulate matter emissions in these sectors between 1990 and 2006. These include for primary PM10:

  • Improvements in the performance of particulate abatement equipment at coal-fired power stations;

and for the secondary particulate matter precursors:

  • Fuel switching from high-sulphur solid (e.g. coal) and liquid (e.g. heavy fuel oil) fuels to low sulphur fuels (such as natural gas) for power and heat production purposes within the 'energy industries', industry and domestic sectors;
  • the impact of European Community directives relating to the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels;
  • The introduction of flue-gas abatement techniques (e.g. flue gas desulphurisation, NOx scrubbers and selective (SCR) and non-selective (SNCR) catalytic reduction) and introduction of combustion modification technologies (such as use of low NOx burners);
  • The introduction of three way catalytic converters for petrol-fuelled cars (driven by the legislative 'Euro' standards) coupled with an increased penetration of diesel-fuelled vehicles.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Martin Adams

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Document Actions

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100