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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 Jan 2010

Emissions of primary particles and secondary particulate matter precursors (CSI 003) - Assessment published Jan 2010

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Environment and health Environment and health

Industry Industry

Tags:
air quality | pm10 | particulate matter | air emissions | csi | pollution
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 003
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2007
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland 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 45% across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2007.
  • Of this reduction, 41% 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 (12%) in 2007. 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 (EEA member countries)

Note: Data not available for Liechtenstein.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2009 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE LRTAP Convention, the EU NEC Directive and EU-MM/UNFCCC. Where emissions of primary PM10 were not reported by countries, emission estimates have been obtained from the GAINS PM10 model (IIASA).

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Change in emissions of primary PM10 and secondary particulate matter precursors by country.

Note: Change in emissions 1990-2007

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2009 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE LRTAP Convention, the EU NEC Directive and EU-MM/UNFCCC. Where emissions of primary PM10 were not reported by countries, emission estimates have been obtained from the GAINS PM10 model (IIASA).

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Key assessment

Emissions of primary particulate matter (PM10) and secondary particulate precursors have reduced by 45% across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2007 (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 the Czech Republic (-76%), Slovakia (-70%) and Hungary (-67%). In contrast emissions have increased in five countries since 1990 - Cyprus (5%), Greece (8%), Malta (14%), Turkey (14%), and Iceland (57%).

Emissions of primary PM10 particulate matter make only a small contribution to total particulate matter formation (12 %) of the EEA-32 emissions in 2007. Collectively, emissions of the secondary particulate precursor pollutants NOx (53%), SO2 (22%) and NH3 (12%) were the most important pollutants contributing to particulate formation in the EEA-32 in 2007.

Emissions of both primary PM10 and the secondary precursor pollutants have all decreased since 1990 (Figure 4). Between 1990 and 2007, emissions of primary PM10 have declined by 26%. 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 2007 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 (note these fact sheets will be updated shortly):

                   Emission trends of ammonia (NH3)

                   Emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOx)

                   Emission trends of sulphur dioxide (SO2)

[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?

Contribution to total change in particulate (primary and secondary) emissions for each sector and pollutant (EEA member countries)

Note: Contribution to change plots show the contribution to the total emission change between 1990-2007 made by a specified sector/pollutant

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2009 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE LRTAP Convention, the EU NEC Directive and EU-MM/UNFCCC. Where emissions of primary PM10 were not reported by countries, emission estimates have been obtained from the GAINS PM10 model (IIASA).

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Sector split of emissions of Particulates (Primary and Secondary) (EEA member countries; EU-15; New EU-12; Other EEA countries (EFTA-4 and Turkey))

Note: Data not available for Liechtenstein.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2009 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE LRTAP Convention, the EU NEC Directive and EU-MM/UNFCCC. Where emissions of primary PM10 were not reported by countries, emission estimates have been obtained from the GAINS PM10 model (IIASA).

Downloads and more info

Change in Particulate (Primary and Secondary) emissions for each sector and pollutant between 1990 and 2007 (EEA member countries)

Note: Data not available for Liechtenstein.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2009 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE LRTAP Convention, the EU NEC Directive and EU-MM/UNFCCC. Where emissions of primary PM10 were not reported by countries, emission estimates have been obtained from the GAINS PM10 model (IIASA).

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Specific assessment

  • The most important sources of primary PM10 and secondary particulate precursor emissions in 2007 across the EEA-32 region were the 'Energy industries' (26 %), 'Road Transport' (19%) and 'Agriculture' (13 %) sectors (Figure 3). When emissions of only primary PM10 are considered, the 'Other (Energy)' sector is the main emission source, contributing 24% 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 41%, 15% and 16% 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 2007. These include for primary PM10:

    • improvements in the performance of particulate abatement equipment at industrial combustion facililties, e.g. coal-fired power stations;
    • since the early 1990s, a fuel shift from the use of coal in the energy industries, industry and domestic sectors to cleaner burning fuels such as gas.
    • cleaner stoves for domestic heating;
    • introduction of particle filters on new vehicles (driven by the legislative 'Euro' standards). 

    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 selective non-catalytic (SNCR) 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).
    •  
     

    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

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