Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory Report 2019

2 Black carbon emissions and trends in Canada

Approximately 36 kilotonnes (kt) of black carbon were emitted in Canada in 2017 (Table 2–1). Emissions have been grouped according to the following source categories:

  • Ore and Mineral Industries
  • Upstream Oil and Gas Industry
  • Electric Power Generation (Utilities)
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and Mobile Equipment
  • Agriculture
  • Commercial/Residential/Institutional

Transportation and mobile equipment sources are by far the most important sources of black carbon in Canada, accounting for 20 kt (54%) of total emissions in 2017 (Table 2–1). An important source in this category is mobile diesel engines, which includes on-road and off-road diesel vehicles, and accounted for 38% (14 kt) of total emissions. Estimation methods for these categories are outlined in Section 2.5.

Commercial/residential/institutional sources are the second-largest contributor to black carbon emissions in Canada, representing emissions of 13 kt, or 35% of total emissions. Home firewood burning is the largest source in this category, representing 12 kt of emissions, or 32% of total emissions. Wood is an abundant fuel in Canada; it is estimated that 14 million tonnes of wood are burned annually in Canadian homes. More information on the estimation methods can be found in Section 2.7.

Since 2013, emissions of black carbon have overall decreased by 8.0 kt (18%) (Figure 2–1). This overall decrease is attributed to declining emissions from transportation and mobile equipment, consistent with observed downward trends in emissions of fine particulate matter from these sources.

Emissions from Commercial/Residential/Institutional fuel combustion have remained relatively steady since 2013, ranging from 12.6 kt to 12.7 kt (29% to 36% of total black carbon emissions). The Upstream Oil and Gas Industry sector has shown an overall increase in emissions from 2.5 kt in 2013 to 2.9 kt in 2017.

Details on each of the sectors are described in Section 2.1 to Section 2.7. Improvements applied to this inventory are described in Section 2.9, while future refinements are discussed in Section 3. Provincial and territorial estimates of black carbon emissions are provided in Annex D.

Table 2–1: Black carbon emissions in Canada (2017) (tonnes)
Sector Black carbon Percentage of total
Aluminium Industry 35 0.1%
Cement and Concrete Industry 16 0.0%
Foundries 0.041 0.0%
Mining and Rock Quarrying 481 1.3%
Ore and Mineral Industries (total) Ore and Mineral Industries (total of the 4 preceding rows)
 
531 1.5%
Disposal and Waste Treatment 0.12 0.0%
Flaring 1 352 3.7%
Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production 97 0.3%
Light/Medium Crude Oil Production 153 0.4%
Natural Gas Production and Processing 530 1.5%
Natural Gas Transmission and Storage 36 0.1%
Natural Gas Distribution 0.75 0.0%
Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction 233 0.6%
Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading 462 1.3%
Petroleum Liquids Storage 2.3 0.0%
Petroleum Liquids Transportation 3.4 0.0%
Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing  1.4 0.0%
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (total) Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (total of the 12 preceding rows)
 
2 871 7.9%
Coal 37 0.1%
Diesel 129 0.4%
Natural Gas 8.5 0.0%
Other (Electric Power Generation) 35 0.1%
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (total) Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (total of the 4 preceding rows)
 
210 0.6%
Pulp and Paper Industry 169 0.5%
Wood Products 117 0.3%
Manufacturing (total) Manufacturing (total of the 2 preceding rows)
 
285 0.8%
Air Transportation 704 1.9%
Marine Transportation 2 761 7.6%
On-Road Transport 6 171 17%
On-Road Transport: Diesel
5 375 15%
On-Road Transport: Gasoline
796 2.2%
On-Road Transport: Liquid Petroleum Gas
0.22 0.0%
On-Road Transport: Natural Gas
0.61 0.0%
Off-Road Transport 8 712 24%
Off-Road Transport: Diesel
8 259 23%
Off-Road Transport: Gasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Natural Gas
453 1.2%
Rail Transportation 1 404 3.9%
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (total) Transportation and Mobile Equipment (total of the 11 preceding rows)
 
19 752 54%
Fuel Use 50 0.1%
Agriculture (total) Agriculture (total of the preceding row)
 
50 0.1%
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 887 2.4%
Construction Fuel Combustion 44 0.1%
Home Firewood Burning 11 532 32%
Home Firewood Burning: Fireplaces
3 282 9.0%
Home Firewood Burning: Furnaces
4 169 11%
Home Firewood Burning: Wood Stoves
4 082 11%
Residential Fuel Combustion 146 0.4%
Commercial/Residential/Institutional (total) Commercial/Residential/Institutional (total of the 7 preceding rows)
 
12 609 35%
Grand total 36 309 100%

Figure 2–1: Trends in Canadian Black Carbon Emissions (2013 to 2017)

Figure 2–1 is a stacked area graph displaying the trends in Canadian black carbon emissions from four source categories.
Long description for Figure 2–1

Figure 2–1 is a stacked area graph displaying the trends in Canadian black carbon emissions from four source categories. The four source categories are the following: Transportation and Mobile Equipment, Commercial/Residential/Institutional, Oil and Gas Industry and Other. The following table displays the emissions tonnes (t) for the years 2013 to 2017.

Trends in Canadian black carbon emissions (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Other 1 249 1 140 1 112 1 027 1 076
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry 2 527 2 875 2 812 2 556 2 871
Commercial/Residential/Institutional 12 707 12 688 12 560 12 638 12 609
Transportation and Mobile Equipment 27 830 26 520 22 003 19 328 19 752

2.1 Ore and Mineral Industries

Ore and mineral industry sources include primary resource extraction and processing (Table 2–2 and Figure 2–2). For the purpose of this inventory, black carbon emissions were considered for the following industries:

  • Aluminium
  • Cement and concrete
  • Foundries
  • Mining and rock quarrying

Greater sectoral coverage and further refinement of emissions from ore and mineral industries are expected in future editions of the inventory.

Of all ore and mineral industry activities included in this inventory, mining and rock quarrying accounted for the largest proportion (1.5% or 0.5 kt) of total black carbon emissions in 2017 (Figure 2–2). Black carbon emissions from mining and rock quarrying increased between 2016 and 2017, due to the increased use of diesel to generate electricity at remote mines, combined with the relatively high BC/PM2.5 fraction for diesel relative to other fuels. For example, a northern facility reported an increase of nearly 800% or 146 tonnes of PM2.5 emissions between 2016 and 2017 due to a significant increase in hours of operations at the powerhouse.

Black carbon emissions from the aluminium sector have decreased and stabilized since 2013, which can be attributed to the implementation of the Code of Practice to reduce emissions of PM2.5 from the primary aluminium sector (ECCC 2016). Black carbon emissions from the cement and concrete industry maintained a slight upward trend with a minor increase of 0.9 kt between 2016 and 2017, associated with an increase in production.

The Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory (APEI) Report (ECCC 2019) provides more information on the development of PM2.5 emission estimates from ore and mineral industries.

Table 2–2: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from Ore and Mineral Industries (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Aluminium Industry 2 369 2 142 1 663 1 663 1 601 51 46 36 36 35
Cement and Concrete Industry  690  817  939  799  785 13 15 19 15 16
Foundries 6.4 6.7 6.0 5.2 4.5 0.058 0.061 0.055 0.048 0.041
Mining and Rock Quarrying 3 138 3 122 2 497 2 714 2 645 440 407 366 361 481
Total 6 203 6 087 5 105 5 181 5 036 504 469 421 412 531

Figure 2–2: Black Carbon Emissions from Ore and Mineral Industries (2013 to 2017)

Figure 2–2 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from three sectors in Ore and Mineral Industries.
Long description for Figure 2–2

Figure 2–2 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from three sectors in Ore and Mineral Industries. The three sectors are the following: Mining and Rock Quarrying, Aluminium Industry and Cement and Concrete Industry. The following table displays the emissions (t) for the years 2013 to 2017.

Black carbon emissions from Ore and Mineral Industries (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Aluminium Industry 51 46 36 36 35
Cement and Concrete Industry 13 15 19 15 16
Foundries 0.058 0.061 0.055 0.048 0.041
Mining and Rock Quarrying 440 407 366 361 481

2.2 Upstream Oil and Gas Industry

Upstream oil and gas industry sources include combustion activities within the upstream oil and gas industry (Table 2–3 and Figure 2–3). The subsectors presented below are included in this year’s report. While flaring activities occur in many of the upstream oil and gas subsectors, flaring is presented separately since it is a significant source of black carbon emissions.

  • Disposal and Waste Treatment
  • Flaring
  • Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production
  • Light/Medium Crude Oil Production
  • Natural Gas Production and Processing
  • Natural Gas Transmission and Storage
  • Natural Gas Distribution
  • Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction
  • Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading
  • Petroleum Liquids Storage
  • Petroleum Liquids Transportation
  • Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing

The Upstream Oil and Gas (UOG) Industry accounted for 2.9 kt or 7.9% of all black carbon emitted in 2017. Of all UOG subsectors included in this inventory, Flaring was the largest source (1.4 kt or 3.7%) of total black carbon emissions in 2017 (Figure 2–3). Emissions from flaring are directly related to volumes of gas flared in the industry. In 2017, the volume of flared gas increased as operators reduced the volumes of vented gas. Flaring is preferential to venting from a greenhouse gas perspective as it reduces emissions of methane. It also reduces non-methane volatile organic compound emissions. It does however increase emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter (and hence black carbon) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The next two largest sources of black carbon emissions in this category are Natural Gas Production and Processing, which accounted for 0.53 kt or 1.5% of total black carbon emissions, and Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading, which accounted for 0.46 kt or 1.3% of total black carbon emissions.

Table 2–3: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from the Oil and Gas Industry
(2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Disposal and Waste Treatment 0.30 0.34 0.33 0.30 0.30 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.12
Flaring
5 362 6 130 5 960 4 923 5 635 1 287 1 471 1 430 1 182 1 352
Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production 164 168 171 165 167 94 96 99 96 97
Light/Medium Crude Oil Production 298 296 291 282 287 155 156 155 151 153
Natural Gas Production and Processing 1 350 1 369 1 362 1 337 1 350 531 538 535 525 530
Natural Gas Transmission and Storage 88 83 84 92 93 34 32 32 35 36
Natural Gas Distribution 2.1 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.0 0.82 0.74 0.71 0.72 0.75
Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction 465 501 533 540 598 181 195 208 211 233
Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading 1 288 2 227 1 574 1 674 1 901 234 375 344 349 462
Petroleum Liquids Storage 8.9 8.0 7.9 5.8 6.1 3.4 3.1 3.0 2.2 2.3
Petroleum Liquids Transportation 9.7 9.9 9.9 10 8.7 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.4
Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing
3.9 3.8 1.7 1.2 1.9 3.0 2.9 1.3 0.89 1.4
Total 9 039 10 798 9 997 9 033 10 049 2 527 2 875 2 812 2 556 2 871

Figure 2–3: Black Carbon Emissions from the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (2013 to 2017)

Figure 2–3 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from seven sectors in Upstream Oil and Gas Industry.
Long description for Figure 2–3

Figure 2–3 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from seven sectors in Upstream Oil and Gas Industry. The seven sectors are the following: Flaring, Natural Gas Production and Processing, Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading, Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction, Light/Medium Crude Oil Production, Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production and Natural Gas Transmission and Storage. The following table displays the emissions (t) for the years 2013 to 2017.

Black carbon emissions from the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Flaring 1 287 1 471 1 430 1 182 1 352
Natural Gas Production and Processing 531 538 535 525 530
Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading 234 375 344 349 462
Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction 181 195 208 211 233
Light/Medium Crude Oil Production 155 156 155 151 153
Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production 94 96 99 96 97
Natural Gas Transmission and Storage 34 32 32 35 36
Petroleum Liquids Transportation 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.4
Petroleum Liquids Storage 3.4 3.1 3.0 2.2 2.3
Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing 3.0 2.9 1.3 0.89 1.4
Natural Gas Distribution 0.82 0.74 0.71 0.72 0.75
Disposal and Waste Treatment 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.12

2.3 Electric Power Generation (Utilities)

Electric power generation (utilities) sources include the combustion of coal, natural gas and other fuels for the purpose of generating electricity (Table 2–4).

Electric power generation (utilities) accounted for 0.21 kt (0.6%) of all black carbon emissions in 2017 (Table 2–4 and Figure 2–4). Black carbon emissions from electric power generation are low because large facilities using solid fuels are equipped with particulate controls. Emissions of PM2.5 from liquid and gaseous fuels from boilers and heaters are low. There is relatively little diesel fuel used in large stationary electricity generation applications. Coverage for this sector is nearly complete; the remaining small sources (smaller facilities including those in remote communities that do not report their emissions to the National Pollutant Release Inventory [NPRI]) will be addressed in future inventories. Emissions from these sources, though small nationally, can have important regional warming and air quality impacts in such areas as Canada’s North.

The largest emitter of black carbon in this category was diesel fuel generation, which accounted for 0.13 kt (0.4%) of total black carbon emissions in 2017.

The trend in this sector between 2013 and 2017 has largely been influenced by the increased use of diesel-fired electricity generation, along with smaller increases in coal and other electricity generation.

Table 2–4: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from Electric Power Generation (Utilities)
(2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Coal 2 205 2 468 2 327 2 182 2 197 37 42 39 37 37
Diesel 169 186 197 207 168 131 144 152 159 129
Natural Gas 494 420 417 382 339 12 11 10 9.6 8.5
Other (Electric Power Generation)  303 427 433 512 496 33 38 42 39 35
Total 3 172 3 502 3 375 3 283 3 200 213 234 244 245 210

Figure 2–4: Black Carbon Emissions from Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (2013 to 2017)

Figure 2–4 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from four sectors in Electric Power Generation (Utilities).
Long description for Figure 2–4

Figure 2–4 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from four sectors in Electric Power Generation (Utilities). The four sectors are the following: Diesel, Other (Electric Power Generation), Coal and Natural Gas. The following table displays the emissions (t) for the years 2013 to 2017.

Black carbon emissions from Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Coal 37 42 39 37 37
Natural Gas 12 11 10 9.6 8.5
Diesel 131 144 152 159 129
Other (Electric Power Generation) 33 38 42 39 35

2.4 Manufacturing

Manufacturing sources include the pulp and paper and wood product industries (Table 2–5). This category accounted for 0.29 kt or 0.8% of total black carbon emissions in 2017. The Wood Products sector and the Pulp and Paper Industry sector accounted for 0.3% and 0.5% respectively of the total black emissions in 2017. While there are other manufacturing sectors, only those with significant PM2.5 emissions from combustion are included in this inventory.

The decreasing trend in this sector between 2013 and 2017 has largely been influenced by reduced production in both the Pulp and Paper Industry sector and the Wood Products sector.

Table 2–5: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from Manufacturing (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Pulp and Paper Industry 8 234 7 680 6 866 6 360 5 884 272 225 199 188 169
Wood Products 2 817 2 193 2 543 1 978 1 744 203 154 195 131 117
Total 11 051 9 873 9 408 8 337 7 628 476 379 394 319 285

2.5 Transportation and Mobile Equipment

Transportation and mobile equipment includes air transportation, marine transportation, on-road and off-road transport (diesel, gasoline, liquid petroleum gas, and natural gas), and rail transportation (Table 2–6 and Figure 2–5). Off-road transport is a highly diverse source that includes lawn and garden equipment, recreational vehicles, such as pleasure craft and snowmobiles, farm equipment, construction and mining equipment, and portable generators and pumps. Both on-road and off-road diesel engines are subject to emission standards for particulate matter and are equipped with sophisticated emission controls to reduce emissions of particulate matter. As more new engines equipped with this technology replace older, more polluting engines, it is expected that emissions of particulate matter will exhibit an overall decreasing trend.

Transportation and mobile equipment are by far the largest sources of black carbon in Canada, accounting for 20 kt (54%) of total emissions in 2017 (Table 2–1). An important source in this category is mobile diesel engines, which includes on-road and off-road diesel, and accounted for 38% (14 kt) of total emissions. Larger sources of black carbon are those that either emit large quantities of PM2.5, or those for which the BC/PM2.5 fraction is high. Mobile diesel engines emit significant quantities of PM2.5 and have the highest BC/PM2.5 fractions of all black carbon sources (Table 2–6). As a result, mobile diesel engines account for nearly all emissions from this category, or about half of total black carbon emissions. The remaining black carbon emissions from transportation and mobile equipment come from air, marine, non-diesel on- and off-road transport, and rail transportation, which accounted for 6.1 kt and 17% of the total black carbon emitted in 2017.

To estimate emissions from mobile sources, bottom-up approaches were adopted, i.e. applying fuel-specific emission factors to disaggregated activity data, such as vehicle or equipment data sorted by class, age or model year. In all cases, PM2.5 was estimated first, and BC/PM2.5 fractions were subsequently applied. The methods for estimating PM2.5 emissions from mobile sources are described in the APEI Report (ECCC 2019).

Table 2–6: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from Transportation and Mobile Equipment (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Air Transportation 884 862 871 889 914 681 664 671 685 704
Marine Transportation 10 849 10 024 3 975 3 997 4 020 4 999 5 727 2 635 2 698 2 761
On-Road Transport 14 294 13 073 11 941 11 869 11 855 7 646 6 958 6 271 6 160 6 171
On-Road Transport:Diesel
10 529 9 662 8 628 8 405 8 449 6 784 6 166 5 494 5 349 5 375
On-Road Transport:Gasoline
3 761 3 409 3 312 3 462 3 402 862 792 776 811 796
On-Road Transport:Liquid Petroleum Gas
2.3 0.83 0.64 0.74 0.91 0.49 0.20 0.15 0.18 0.22
On-Road Transport:Natural Gas
1.1 1.0 1.0 1.5 3.0 0.21 0.20 0.20 0.30 0.61
Off-Road Transport 19 846 18 345 17 672 13 999 14 451 12 604 11 408 10 911 8 389 8 712
Off-Road Transport:Diesel
15 696 14 130 13 491 10 297 10 708 12 105 10 897 10 405 7 941 8 259
Off-Road Transport:Gasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas
4 150 4 215 4 181 3 703 3 743 499 511 507 448 453
Rail Transportation 2 464 2 284 1 964 1 809 1 821 1 900 1 762 1 515 1 395 1 404
Total 48 335 44 588 36 423 32 564 33 061 27 830 26 519 22 003 19 328 19 752

Figure 2–5: Black Carbon Emissions from Transportation and Mobile Equipment (2013 to 2017)

Figure 2–5 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from five sectors in Transportation and Mobile Equipment.
Long description for Figure 2–5

Figure 2–5 is a stacked area graph displaying the black carbon emissions from five sectors in Transportation and Mobile Equipment. The five sectors are the following: Off-Road Transport, On-Road Transport, Marine Transportation, Rail Transportation and Air Transportation. The following table displays the emissions (t) for the years 2013 to 2017.

Black carbon emissions from Transportation and Mobile Equipment (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Air Transportation 681 664 671 685 704
Marine Transportation 4 999 5 727 2 635 2 698 2 761
On-Road Transport 7 646 6 958 6 271 6 160 6 171
Off-Road Transport 12 604 11 408 10 911 8 389 8 712
Rail Transportation 1 900 1 762 1 515 1 395 1 404

2.6 Agriculture

Agriculture sources consist of fuel use for non-mobile equipment, e.g. for drying grain, and accounted for 0.05 kt (0.1%) of total black carbon emitted in 2017 (Table 2–7). Estimates for these sources are based on the fuel type and quantity consumed in Canada and the corresponding BC/PM2.5 fraction. For this category, there is a lower BC/PM2.5 fraction specific to agricultural fuel use.

Table 2–7: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from Agriculture (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Fuel Use 419 438 391 390 377 56 59 52 51 50
Total 419 438 391 390 377 56 59 52 51 50

2.7 Commercial/Residential/Institutional

Commercial/residential/institutional sources include home firewood burning, and fossil fuel combustion in commercial and institutional buildings, at construction sites, and in homes. The majority of emissions from these sources are due to combustion in large, relatively efficient commercial boilers, or in small, less-efficient residential fireplaces and woodstoves.

Of all commercial/residential/institutional sources, home firewood burning accounted for the largest proportion (11.5 kt or 32%) of total black carbon emissions in 2017 (Table 2–8) Emissions from home firewood burning are grouped according to the following subsectors:

  • Fireplaces
  • Furnaces
  • Wood stoves

A key determinant of total emissions from home firewood burning is the quantity of wood burned in each type of wood-burning device (residential wood stoves, furnaces, and fireplaces). Wood furnaces emit the highest concentration of PM2.5 and black carbon.

The next largest source of black carbon emissions in this category is commercial and institutional fuel combustion, which accounted for 0.9 kt (2.4%) of total black carbon emissions.

Overall, the combustion of fuels, other than wood, accounted for 1.1 kt (3.0%) of the total black carbon emissions in 2017 from this category. Estimations for these sources are based on the fuel type and quantity consumed in Canada and the corresponding BC/PM2.5 fraction for each sector.

Table 2–8: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from Commercial/Residential/Institutional components (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector PM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
PM2.5
from combustion 2016
PM2.5
from combustion 2017
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Black carbon
2016
Black carbon
2017
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 2 252 2 396 2 280 2 282 2 375 829 882 842 852 887
Construction Fuel Combustion 117 116 117 120 122 42 41 41 43 44
Home Firewood Burning 164 707 163 566 162 465 163 258 162 191 11 679 11 601 11 525 11 606 11 532
Home Firewood Burning:Fireplaces
60 577 60 000 59 433 59 365 58 821 3 380 3 347 3 316 3 312 3 282
Home Firewood Burning:Furnaces
30 290 30 106 29 934 30 380 30 208 4 180 4 155 4 131 4 192 4 169
Home Firewood Burning:Wood Stoves
73 840 73 460 73 098 73 513 73 161 4 120 4 098 4 078 4 101 4 082
Residential Fuel Combustion 2 406 2 526 2 362 2 119 2 243 157 165 152 136 146
Total 169 481 168 604 167 224 167 780 166 930 12 707 12 688 12 560 12 638 12 609

2.8 Use of facility reported emissions

Only PM2.5 emissions resulting from combustion contain significant amounts of black carbon. In the APEI, PM2.5 emission estimates are calculated using a variety of data sources, notably emission estimates reported by Canadian facilities to the NPRI. For sources that are incompletely covered by PM2.5 estimates reported to the NPRI, PM2.5 emissions are calculated in-house using activity data, statistics and emission factors. For this inventory, emissions from manufacturing, electric power generation as well as ore and mineral industries are estimated using facility data. Upstream Oil and Gas Industry estimates are based on facility-reported data used in combination with the results of an independent study. Emissions due to agricultural, construction and residential (wood and other) fuel combustion are estimated from data on fuel consumption and combustion technologies. Commercial fuel combustion is estimated using a combination of facility-reported and other data sources.

Stack emissions of PM2.5 reported by facilities form the basis of the black carbon estimation from facility reported data. For each individual stack, the appropriate black carbon speciation factor (or factors) was applied to the combustion related PM2.5 (Annex B). The emissions are then summed at the facility level and aggregated to form the sectoral emission estimate.

2.9 Recalculations and completeness

As new data and methodologies become available, emission estimates from previous inventory editions are recalculated. This 2019 edition of the black carbon inventory has been developed largely based on the same methodologies as the previous edition (Table 2–9).

A quantitative assessment of completeness is challenging because detailed analyses have not been completed for all sources. The sources included in this inventory are estimated to account for the majority of anthropogenic black carbon emissions in Canada, since the largest combustion sources as well as those with little PM2.5 control measures are accounted for. An estimate of the sectoral coverage is included in the following tables, and efforts will be made in coming inventories to expand the sectoral coverage.

Table 2–9: Summary of methodological changes or refinement
Sector Description Impact on emissions
Transportation and Mobile Equipment

Recalculations occurred in the marine sector as well as some minor updates in on-road and off-road emissions. The primary update was to the Marine Emissions Inventory Tool (MEIT) used to calculate PM emissions, which included new interpolation for 2013 and 2014, and an extrapolation for the year 2016. The on-road and off-road changes include changes in hours of use for snowmobiles, changes in estimated number of diesel vehicles/engines used in the oil sands sector and a change in the version of Statistics Canada,s Report on Energy Supply Demand (RESD) used to align estimates with the national energy balance.

Changes to Transportation and Mobile Equipment are increases of 1582 tonnes (6%) in 2013, 1903 tonnes (8%) in 2014, 182 tonnes (3%) in 2015 and 595 tonnes (3%) in 2016, most of which occurred in the marine sector.

Manufacturing

Recalculations occurred in the Pulp and Paper Industry sector and Wood Products sector due to reassignment of facility-reported emissions among these two sectors.

Changes to Manufacturing are a decrease of 17 tonnes (3%) in 2013, an increase of 1 tonne (0.3%) in 2014, a decrease of 6 tonnes (2%) in 2015 and a decrease of 10 tonnes (3%) in 2016 due to reassignment of facility-reported emissions among the Pulp and Paper Industry sector and Wood Products sector.

2.10 Sources of uncertainty

A key source of uncertainty associated with black carbon inventories is the inconsistencies between definitions and measurements of black carbon (Bond et al. 2013). Scientists use different methods to measure black carbon particle emissions at the source and in the atmosphere, and therefore measured quantities are not strictly comparable.

Although not quantified, uncertainty in the black carbon estimates in this inventory stems primarily from the uncertainty around the BC/PM2.5 fractions. There is large variability in the size of measurement samples used to derive these fractions; the same fractions can by default be applied to several different technologies. An example of the limitation of available BC/PM2.5 fractions can be seen with the application of the diesel BC/PM2.5 fraction for aviation turbo fuel in jet aircrafts, as there is no available fraction specific to aviation turbo fuel. Similarly, a single BC/PM2.5 fraction is applied to all residential wood combustion appliances except wood furnaces (Annex C, Table C–1). The refinement of BC/PM2.5 fractions is dependent on new measurements. Assignment of fraction to sector or equipment type is made using engineering knowledge and judgment based on limited available information (such as stack names), with varying degrees of accuracy.

There is high uncertainty in determining the proportion of combustion PM2.5 emissions from industrial sources. The primary data source for estimating PM2.5 emissions from many industrial sources is the NPRI, in which emissions are reported by facilities by stack or as one aggregate value for the facility as a whole and are not broken down between combustion and non-combustion emissions. For some sectors (such as aluminium, pulp and paper and cement and concrete industries), it is assumed that the PM2.5 emissions are combustion-related when emissions of both CO and NOx are reported from the same stack; this assumption contributes to the overall uncertainty.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: