1. Current corinair 90 system

Page Last modified 20 Apr 2016
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1. Current CORINAIR 90 System

The current CORINAIR 90 system is a conspicuous milestone on the road of Air Emission Inventories in Europe.

It results of developments in the frame of the CORINE programme. A first generation was provided to compile the EC emission inventory for 1985 (CORINAIR 85) and the current second generation used for CORINAIR 90 emission inventory now under responsibility of the EEA (1).

1.1  The four dimensions

The CORINAIR system is based on the four dimensional aspects which need to be specified according to objectives of each inventory.

  • Substances

CORINAIR 90 dealing mainly with acidification, photochemistry and greenhouse effects, the selected substances have been SO2, NOx, NMVOC, CH4, CO, CO2, N2O and NH3.

The split of some substances in different species (i.e. VOC's) had been identified as a relevant need but not considered as a priority.

  • Emitters

More than 240 emitting activities are defined in the Selected Nomenclature for Air Pollution (SNAP). Emitters correspond to relevant combinations of

SNAP activity + fuel (for energy related activities) + supplementary rubric (optional).

Fuels are defined in NAPFUE and rubrics are free for more split by producers of inventories.

Main emitters are classified as Large Point Sources (LPS) according to specifications to be adapted with inventory objective. Individual information is collected for LPS.

Remaining emitters are classified as Area Sources (AS) for which activity rates and emission factors are requested.

The general formula used is :

E = S [ Ai,f,r x Efi,f,r,p ]

where E is the total emission for a pollutant p

Ai,f,r is a representative value of the activity i

EFi,f,r,p is the emission factor assigned to activity i fuel f, rubric r and pollutant p.

For LPS, emissions are determined either from direct emission estimations (measurement, balance, or from calculation by the mean of emission factors.

  • Géographical resolution

CORINAIR 90 is based on administrative territorial units defined by EUROSTAT (NUTS levels 0 to III or equivalent for non EU countries) because statistics are generally more available at this scale than at any grid square. Moreover, this resolution fits fairly well with modelers needs in Europe.

Nevertheless, a lot of air emission inventory requests deal mainly with the national level only.

A special allocation procedure involving socio economical data (e.g. population, area, employment, number of houses, ...) is provided to perform activity rate estimation at territorial units levels for which the requested data are not available.

  • Time

There is interest for high time resolution (e.g. modelization of photochemistry) but such figures can be more easily produced from an annual basis which fits with most of mains uses of air emission inventories.

1.2  Processing overview

The CORINAIR 90 system is described in figure 1 and includes the following steps :

  • National/producer level definitions/specifications for source categories, fuels, territorial units, pollutants, LPS, surrogate data, units, ...
  • Collection of data (activity rates, emission factors, fuel characteristics, LPS information, comments, surrogate data, ...)
  • Data treatment (allocation procedure, emission calculation, checking)
  • Each national database is examined by the CORINAIR Technical Unit for checking on consistency and completeness. Analysis of emission factors discrepancies enables to detect irrelevant figures and to help to increase their relevancy.
  • All validated national databases are transfered to the EEA ORACLE System and constitute the centralized CORINAIR database
  • Outputs such as reports, maps, databases, ...are produced

It is to be noticed that bottom-up and top-down approaches are used respectively for large point sources and area sources allocation.

Practically, two approaches are used (cf figure 2) :

  • One for countries who export data from their national specific system to CORINAIR database (Dbase format). When the national system does not cover all data requests, the CORINAIR software may be used for completion of the database.
  • Other countries use the CORINAIR software to achieve their CORINAIR emission inventories.

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1.3  Tools of CORINAIR 90 system

Different tools have been developped to reach objectives of CORINAIR 90 inventory :

  • set of common definitions and specifications (SNAP, NAPFUE, pollutants, LPS),
  • Handbook of Emission Factors in order to help producers of emission inventories. This handbook is changed in a more structured Guidebook which will be available in mid 1995 (EMEP/CORINAIR Guidebook),
  • software allowing to store, to manage inventory data and to provide emission estimations by each producer (2),
  • validation routines for various checkings,
  • routines for data transfer from DOS/Dbase platform to UNIX/ORACLE platform, due to some differencies in data dictionaries (2) (3) and difference of platforms,
  • CORINAIR/IPCC interface,
  • procedure for allocating emissions from administrative territorial units to EMEP grid.

1.4  Data in CORINAIR 90 system

Data are classified according to the following understanding (4)

Essential. This is the most important information that must be included in any inventory produced by the EEA.

Desirable. These data items should be included but their priority is lower. These are items that will become available on a longer time frame. For example, the full documentation of an inventory is required but can be published after the results become available.

Useful. Some items of data would be useful to have but are not necesary to the overall project. For example, all the details of a power plants boilers are not needed at the European level and so this data would be useful but not essential or desirable.

Definition/reference data

Pollutant F essential
SNAP F essential
NAPFUE F essential
Fuel characteristics N useful (depending on producers)
Annex rubric N desirable
Elementary area activity N essential
PoActivity group F essential
Territorial unit F/N essential
Surrogate data N essential or not used (depending on approach)
Control device F useful
Estimation method F useful
Unit F essential
Mass unit conversion F essential (data system)
Comment source of information N desirable
Surrogate relations N essential or not used (depending on approach)

F = forefilled
N = not forefilled



data quality indicators desirable
comments and sources of information desirable
confidentiality indicators essential

Area sources

activity unit essential
emission factor essential
activity rate essential
activity unit ratio between reference unit and used unit essential
surrogate data rate essential when allocation procedure is used

Large Point Sources (LPS)

identification data (LPS code. T.U., coordinates...) essential
estimation method efficiency of control device useful possibly desirable for some users
emission rate essential when emissions are directly known (measurements, ...)
activity rate and unit essential when use of emission factors or for some outputs (IPCC); desirable in other cases
emission factor essential when use of emission factors otherwise not used
fuel consumption essential for some outputs (IPCC) and calculation facilities ; otherwise desirable
basic fuel emission factor essential for some outputs (IPCC) and calculation facilities ; otherwise desirable
fuel LHV essential for some outputs (IPCC) and calculation facilities ; otherwise desirable
Stacks characteristics (height, flow rate, ...) useful possibly desirable for some users
other characteristics (nominal capacity,starting year, working time) useful
LCP Directive data (plant statute (existing/new), corrected thermal capacity essential for some outputs (LCPD)

Output data

The system enables outputs of following kinds of data :

  • reference definition data
  • data collected
  • data estimated by software process (activity rates estimated by the use of surrogate data)
  • emissions processed by the software which are obviously essential

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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