Canada’s Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory Report: chapter 2.1

2.1  Particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5)

In 2017, approximately 1.7 million tonnes (Mt) of PM2.5 were emitted in Canada (Table 2–3). Dust sources accounted for 60% (1.0 Mt) of total PM2.5 emissions, with the most important dust sources being construction operations at 51% (507 kt) of dust emissions and dust from unpaved and paved roads at 49% (494 kt) of dust emissions. Agriculture was the second largest contributor and accounted for 23% (380 kt) of PM2.5 emissions, most of which are attributed to crop production (23% or 378 kt). In these sectors, PM is largely emitted by non-combustion sources.

Commercial/residential/institutional sources accounted for 11% (183 kt) of total PM2.5 emissions in 2017, with the most important contributor being home firewood burning at 10% (162 kt) of total PM2.5 emissions. All other commercial/residential/institutional sources accounted for less than 1% of total PM2.5 emissions.

Overall, emissions of PM2.5 decreased from 1990 to 2009, increased to 2012 and have remained relatively stable since. (Figure 2-1). The downward trend was influenced predominantly by decreasing emissions from crop production, home firewood burning and other sectors. Decreased emissions from crop production can be attributed to the adoption of conservation tillage practices for the period of 1990 to 2011 and have since stabilised. Decreased emissions from home firewood burning are due to the use of new fireplace inserts, furnaces and stoves with improved emission controls and combustion efficiencies. Emissions from construction operations decreased until 2002; increased until 2012; and have since stabilized. Emissions of PM2.5 from paved and unpaved roads followed a more gradual, consistent increasing trend from 1990 to 2002 and remained stable between 2002 and 2017. The trend in PM2.5 emissions from roads is driven predominantly by the use of unpaved roads in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

The most significant changes in PM2.5 emissions from 1990 to 2017 include:

  • dust: increase of 57% (364 kt), of which:
    • construction operations: increase of 112% (268 kt)
    • paved and unpaved roads: increase of 24% (97 kt total)
  • agriculture: decrease of 44% (298 kt), of which:
    • crop production: decrease of 44% (298 kt)
  • commercial/residential/institutional: decrease of 35% (99 kt), of which:
    • home firewood burning: decrease of 38% (100 kt)

Figure 2-1: Major contributors to national PM2.5 trends

Figure 2-1 (See long description below)
Long description for Figure 2-1

Figure 2-1 is a stacked area graph displaying the five major contributors to National PM2.5 trends. The five contributors are the following: Construction Operations, Paved and Unpaved Roads, Crop Production, Home Firewood Burning and Other. The following table displays the contributions (kt) for the years 1990 to 2017.

Figure 2-1: Major contributors to national PM2.5 trends (kt)
Sector 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sector 1 - Construction Operations 240 230 220 200 240 190 230 290 150 170 150 150 130 140 150 170 220 290 380 270 370 410 510 510 510 510 510 510
Sector 2 - Crop Production 680 670 650 640 620 610 600 580 570 550 540 530 510 490 470 450 430 410 400 390 370 360 360 370 370 370 370 380
Sector 3 - Paved and Unpaved Roads 400 400 400 410 430 420 410 430 440 460 470 480 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490 490
Sector 4 - Home Firewood Burning 260 260 250 260 260 250 250 230 250 230 220 200 220 190 180 170 160 160 160 150 160 160 170 160 160 160 160 160
Sector 5 - Other 390 370 350 360 350 360 340 320 310 300 300 270 240 250 230 220 200 190 190 170 170 160 160 150 150 140 130 130

Table 2-3:  National summary of annual PM2.5 emissions

Ore and Mineral Industries (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 57 000 53 000 42 000 35 000 32 000 32 000 31 000 32 000 35 000
Aluminium Industry 5 400 4 500 5 100 4 500 4 100 3 700 3 300 3 400 3 400
Asphalt Paving Industry 1 700 1 500 1 300 1 300 1 200 1 400 1 400 1 500 1 500
Cement and Concrete Industry 11 000 9 900 12 000 7 900 7 900 7 700 7 600 7 100 7 300
Foundries 6 100 5 100 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200 5 200
Iron and Steel Industry 11 000 9 400 5 100 2 600 2 100 2 500 2 400 2 200 2 500
Iron Ore Industry 1 600 4 500 510 310 330 190 120 140 160
Mineral Products Industry 1 200 1 100 960 260 360 370 330 290 230
Mining and Rock Quarrying 10 000 11 000 7 300 11 000 9 300 9 000 8 500 10 000 13 000
Non-Ferrous Mining and Smelting Industry 8 800 6 000 4 700 2 000 1 800 2 000 2 200 1 800 1 300
Oil and Gas Industry (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 12 000 13 000 12 000 10 000 11 000 13 000 12 000 11 000 13 000
Downstream Oil and Gas Industry 5 100 4 900 4 600 1 700 1 700 1 600 1 400 1 500 1 500
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry 7 200 8 400 7 900 8 300 9 400 11 000 11 000 9 700 11 000
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 48 000 23 000 8 900 3 300 3 300 3 600 3 500 3 400 3 300
Coal 46 000 20 000 5 000 2 300 2 200 2 500 2 400 2 200 2 200
Diesel 260 400 400 200 200 230 250 280 200
Natural Gas 1 200 1 900 1 700 460 490 420 420 380 340
Waste Materials 0.41 2.9 1.6 4.5 2.5 2.3 2.4 16 33
Other Electric Power Generation 1 300 740 1 800 320 320 460 460 550 530
Manufacturing (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 110 000 77 000 45 000 20 000 20 000 19 000 18 000 17 000 16 000
Abrasives Manufacturing 390 210 200 7.8 8.1 8.4 15 14 15
Bakeries no emissions (-) - 0.36  1.2 1.2 1.1 10 10 6.7
Biofuel Production - - - 4.3 3.9  4.4 4.6  4.2 3.4
Chemicals Industry 4 800 4 500 4 200 1 600 1 700 1 400 1 300 1 300 1 200
Electronics 120 37 4.5 0.43  0.41  2.0 0.91 0.89  0.87 
Food Preparation 1 400 2 100 1 700 810 890 800 810 810 720
Glass Manufacturing 920 1 300 1 200 140 140 150 150 160 130
Grain Industry 2 200 2 900 2 000 2 600 2 400 2 800 2 800 2 900 2 900
Metal Fabrication 800 1 300 1 100 900 820 430 430 440 430
Plastics Manufacturing 160 170 140 120 78 69 53 65 56
Pulp and Paper Industry 61 000 25 000 18 000 8 500 9 100 8 500 7 700 7 100 7 200
Textiles 13 22 18 2.7 2.8  2.5  1.2 1.3 1.2
Vehicle Manufacturing (Engines, Parts, Assembly, Painting) 1 700 1 600 620 220 190 170 180 180 170
Wood Products 35 000 30 000 13 000 4 400 4 300 4 000 4 300 3 500 3 200
Other (Manufacturing) 6 200 8 800 3 000 230 210 200 180 200 190
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 95 000 95 000 80 000 53 000 50 000 46 000 38 000 34 000 35 000
Air Transportation 640 840 830 860 880 860 870 890 910
Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles 15 000 15 000 17 000 11 000 11 000 9 600 8 600 8 400 8 400
Heavy-Duty Gasoline Vehicles 3 500 2 300 2 100 1 200 1 200 960 920 980 970
Heavy-Duty LPG/NG Vehicles 600 680 160 5.0 2.7 1.4 1.2 1.8 3.3
Light-Duty Diesel Trucks 13 14 15 10 11 12 15 16 18
Light-Duty Diesel Vehicles 49 26 16 13 13 13 14 13 12
Light-Duty Gasoline Trucks 2 000 2 400 1 600 1 300 1 300 1 200 1 200 1 300 1 300
Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles 5 000 3 600 2 200 1 400 1 300 1 200 1 100 1 100 1 100
Light-Duty LPG/NG Trucks 180 83 36 1.1 0.61 0.46 0.41 0.44 0.53
Light-Duty LPG/NG Vehicles 23 12 5.3 0.06 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03
Marine Transportation 9 700 13 000 15 000 12 000 11 000 10 000 4 000 4 000 4 000
Motorcycles 22 21 23 21 20 20 20 21 21
Off-road Diesel Vehicles and Equipment 41 000 42 000 29 000 17 000 16 000 14 000 13 000 10 000 11 000
Off-road Gasoline/LPG/CNG Vehicles and Equipment 13 000 10 000 6 800 4 400 4 100 4 200 4 200 3 700 3 700
Rail Transportation 3 600 3 400 3 300 2 800 2 500 2 300 2 000 1 800 1 800
Tire Wear and Brake Lining 730 1 100 1 200 1 400 1 500 1 500 1 500 1 500 1 500
Agriculture (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 680 000 540 000 450 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 380 000 380 000
Animal Production 1 700 2 100 2 300 2 000 2 000 2 000 2 000 2 100 2 100
Crop Production 680 000 540 000 450 000 360 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 380 000
Fuel Use 120 140 130 420 420 440 390 390 380
Commercial / Residential / Institutional (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 280 000 240 000 190 000 190 000 190 000 190 000 180 000 180 000 180 000
Cigarette Smoking 810 690 530 480 410 410 370 370 380
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 2 000 2 600 2 600 2 200 2 300 2 400 2 300 2 300 2 400
Commercial Cooking 14 000 15 000 17 000 17 000 17 000 16 000 15 000 15 000 15 000
Construction Fuel Combustion 180 110 150 140 130 130 130 140 140
Home Firewood Burning 260 000 220 000 170 000 170 000 160 000 160 000 160 000 160 000 160 000
Human no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Marine Cargo Handling 180 140 200 43 79 79 68 85 87
Residential Fuel Combustion 2 400 2 600 2 500 2 300 2 400 2 500 2 400 2 100 2 200
Service Stations - - - - - - - - -
Other (Commercial / Residential / Institutional) - - - - - - - - -
Incineration and Waste (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-sector 5 100 4 400 4 100 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 800
Crematoriums 4.3 6.6 5.2 5.7 6.1 6.6 6.8 7.0 7.2
Waste Incineration 4 500 3 800 3 400 2 200 2 200 2 200 2 200 2 200 2 300
Waste Treatment and Disposal 600 630 720 460 460 470 480 460 470
Paints and Solvents (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 3.7 7.1 25 19 15 11 15 16 22
Dry Cleaning 0.32 0.32 0.62 9.4 9.1 4.9 6.1 4.5 13
General Solvent Use no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Printing 3.0 6.4 23 8.7 5.5 5.5 8.3 9.8 7.4
Surface Coatings 0.37 0.37 0.94 0.83 0.78 0.63 1.00 1.5 1.5
Dust (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-sector 640 000 620 000 660 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000
Coal Transportation 310 270 230 280 300 280 230 260 230
Construction Operations 240 000 150 000 170 000 510 000 510 000 510 000 510 000 510 000 510 000
Mine Tailings 1 200 1 300 660 660 660 660 660 660 660
Paved Roads 110 000 140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000
Unpaved Roads 280 000 330 000 350 000 350 000 350 000 350 000 350 000 350 000 350 000
Fires (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 36 000 6 900 4 500 7 600 3 200 12 000 10 000 9 100 4 800
Prescribed Forest Burning 36 000 6 600 4 200 7 300 2 900 12 000 10 000 8 900 4 600
Structural Fires 350 280 250 280 260 200 190 190 190
Totals (tonnes)
Source 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Ore and Mineral Industry 51 000 47 000 36 000 29 000 26 000 26 000 25 000 26 000 29 000
Oil and Gas Industry 12 000 13 000 12 000 10 000 11 000 13 000 12 000 11 000 13 000
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 48 000 23 000 8 900 3 300 3 300 3 600 3 500 3 400 3 300
Manufacturing 110 000 77 000 45 000 20 000 20 000 19 000 18 000 17 000 16 000
Transportation and Mobile Equipment 95 000 95 000 80 000 53 000 50 000 46 000 38 000 34 000 35 000
Agriculture 680 000 540 000 450 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 370 000 380 000 380 000
Commercial / Residential / Institutional 280 000 240 000 190 000 190 000 190 000 190 000 180 000 180 000 180 000
Incineration and Waste 5 100 4 400 4 100 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 700 2 800
Paints and Solvents 3.7 7.1 25 19 15 11 15 16 22
Dust 640 000 620 000 660 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 000
Fires 36 000 6 900 4 500 7 600 3 200 12 000 10 000 9 100 4 800
Grand Total 2 000 000 1 700 000 1 500 000 1 700 000 1 700 000 1 700 000 1 700 000 1 700 000 1 700 000

Notes:

Totals may not add up due to rounding

- Indicates no emission

0.00 Indicates emissions truncated due to rounding

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