Canada’s Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory Report: chapter 2.11

2.11  Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

The APEI reports emissions of four PAHs: benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)p), benzo(b)fluoranthene (B(b)f), benzo(k)fluoranthene (B(k)f) and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene (I(1,2,3-cd)p). The analysis presented here is based on the aggregate total of all four substances. In 2017, 112 t of PAHs were emitted in Canada (Table 2–13), with 90% (102 t) attributed to commercial/residential/institutional sources. This is almost entirely due to home firewood burning. Transportation and Mobile Equipment, as the next largest source, contributed 7% (8 t) of PAH emissions in 2017.

Home firewood burning dominates PAH emissions throughout the time series. This source experienced a 26% (35 t) emission decrease from 1990 to 2017. This can be attributed to a reduction in the use of wood as heating fuel and to the increased use of newer technologies in fireplace inserts, furnaces and stoves that improve combustion efficiency and as a result limit the emission of both wood smoke and PAHs. (ECCC, Residential Fuelwood Consumption in Canada, 2014)

From 1990 to 2017, PAH emissions decreased by 69% (248 t) (Figure 2–11), primarily due to emission reductions in the aluminium industry and iron and steel industry. Emissions from the aluminium industry experienced a large drop in PAH emissions from 2001 to 2010 due to process improvements and the progressive phase-out of old Söderberg aluminium production technology (ECCC, Alcoa Ltd. Environmental Performance Agreement Overview, 2008). Additional decreases occurred between 2014 and 2017, related to the replacement of old smelting equipment with a modern smelter at the facility which historically contributed the largest share of PAH emissions (ECCC, Annual Public Report of Environmental Performance Agreement Concerning Atmospheric Emissions of PolycycliAromatic Hydrocarbons between Environment and Climate Change Canada and Rio Tinto Alcan, 2014).

PAH emissions from iron and steel industry experienced a large drop earlier in the time series, from 1993 to 2006, and remained quite small until 2017. Reductions here are a result of effective emission controls on coke ovens and electric arc furnaces (ECCC, Environmental Code of Practice for Integrated Steel Mills – CEPA 1999 Code of Practice, 2001).

PAH emissions from Transportation and Mobile Equipment have decreased across the time series due to increasingly stringent engine and vehicle regulations.

The most significant changes in PAH emissions from 1990 to 2017 include:

  • ore and mineral industries : decrease of almost 100% (188t), of which:
    • aluminium industry: decrease of almost 100% (109t)
    • iron and steel industry: decrease of 100% (79t)
  • commercial/residential/institutional: decrease of 26% (35t), of which:
    • home firewood burning: decrease of 26% (35 t)
  • transportation and Mobile Equipment: decrease of 67% (16t), of which:
    • light-duty Gasoline Trucks and Vehicles: decrease of 65% (10t)

Figure 2-11: Major contributors to national polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons trends

Figure 2-11 (See long description below)
Long description for Figure 2-11

Figure 2-11 is a stacked area graph displaying the five major contributors to National PAH trends. The five contributors are the following: Aluminium Industry, Home Firewood Burning, Iron and Steel Industry, Light-Duty Gasoline Trucks and Vehicles and Other. The following table displays the contributions (t) for the years 1990 to 2017.

Figure 2-11: Major contributors to national polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons trends (t)
Section 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
Section 1 - Home Firewood Burning  140 130 130 130 140 130 130 120 130 130 120 120 130 110 110 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Section 2 - Iron and Steel Industry 80 80 82 86 61 46 32 19 24 30 20 7.3 7.9 8.3 3.8 4.6 0.34 0.44 0.46 0.58 0.72 0.68 0.74 0.55 0.40 0.40 0.44 0.39
Section 3 - Aluminium Industry 110 90 89 89 88 87 87 86 86 85 84 84 59 63 41 45 51 41 41 27 21 22 23 31 23 4.9 0.10 0.13
Section 4 - Light-Duty Gasoline Trucks and Vehicles 15 15 15 15 15 14 14 14 14 13 13 13 12 11 10 8.9 8.2 8.1 8.4 7.3 7.0 6.3 6.1 5.9 5.5 5.3 5.5 5.4
Section 5 - Other 20 21 17 21 19 19 15 12 12 11 11 10 12 15 10 8.7 10 7.4 8.4 8.8 6.9 6.3 6.5 5.4 7.8 6.5 6.1 5.0

Table 2-13:  National summary of annual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emissions

Ore and Mineral Industries (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 190 000 100 000 50 000 24 000 32 000 24 000 5 400 670 530
Aluminium Industry 110 000 84 000 45 000 23 000 31 000 23 000 4 900 100 130
Asphalt Paving Industry 14 14 15 12 12 13 13 13 13
Cement and Concrete Industry 17 13 19 1.6 1.7 3.1 2.8 0.23 0.62
Foundries no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Iron and Steel Industry 80 000 20 000 4 600 740 550 400 400 440 390
Iron Ore Industry - - - - - - - - -
Mineral Products Industry - - - - - - - - -
Mining and Rock Quarrying 0.30 0.50 - 0.25 160 250 110 110 0.02
Non-Ferrous Refining and Smelting Industry 2.0 3.0 0.69 0.27 0.31 0.31 0.32 0.30 0.33
Oil and Gas Industry (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 150 95 46 28 27 25 24 20 18
Downstream Oil and Gas Industry 150 92 43 19 18 16 19 14 13
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry 2.3 3.3 2.3 8.2 9.0 9.8 4.8 5.8 4.5
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 370 360 240 7.8 6.7 6.4 6.1 6.8 6.5
Coal 240 240 240 no emissions (-) - - - - -
Diesel - - - - - - - - -
Natural Gas 2.9 2.3 0.23 0.07 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.04
Waste Materials - - - - - - - - -
Other (Electric Power Generation) 130 110 - 7.7 6.7 6.4 6.0 6.8 6.5
Manufacturing (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 320 300 300 170 130 170 110 96 110
Abrasives Manufacturing no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Bakeries - - - - - - - - -
Biofuel Production - - - - - - - - -
Chemicals Industry - 23 30 28 25 24 25 25 25
Electronics - - - - - - - - -
Food Preparation - - - - - - - - -
Glass Manufacturing - - - - - - - - -
Grain Industry - - - - - - - - -
Metal Fabrication - - 8.3 4.1 4.1 - - - -
Plastics Manufacturing - - - - - - - - -
Pulp and Paper Industry 110 130 190 120 91 130 73 64 78
Textiles - - - - - - - - -
Vehicle Manufacturing (Engines, Parts, Assembly, Painting) - - - 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.02 0.01 0.02
Wood Products 210 150 72 12 11 9.7 8.6 7.9 6.0
Other (Manufacturing) - 0.93 2.2 - - - - - -
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 24 000 20 000 15 000 9 500 9 200 8 400 7 900 8 200 8 100
Air Transportation 13 11 7.7 8.3 8.6 8.6 9.2 9.6 10
Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles 910 990 1 200 800 750 690 610 600 600
Heavy-Duty Gasoline Vehicles 6 200 4 300 4 200 2 300 2 300 1 900 1 800 1 900 1 900
Heavy-Duty LPG/NG Vehicles 1 100 1 300 330 9.6 5.2 2.8 2.5 3.5 6.7
Light-Duty Diesel Trucks 2.1 2.7 2.8 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.2
Light-Duty Diesel Vehicles 7.8 5.4 3.4 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.4 2.2 2.1
Light-Duty Gasoline Trucks 4 500 5 400 3 800 3 000 2 900 2 800 2 800 3 000 3 000
Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles 11 000 7 600 5 000 3 100 2 900 2 700 2 500 2 500 2 400
Light-Duty LPG/NG Trucks 380 170 80 2.4 1.3 0.95 0.85 0.93 1.1
Light-Duty LPG/NG Vehicles 47 25 12 0.12 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.06
Marine Transportation 120 150 170 190 210 240 110 110 120
Motorcycles 39 38 42 39 38 37 37 40 40
Off-Road Diesel Vehicles and Equipment no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Off-Road Gasoline/LPG/NG Vehicles and Equipment - - - - - - - - -
Rail Transportation 63 59 58 48 43 40 34 32 32
Tire Wear and Brake Lining - - - - - - - - -
Agriculture (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 0.32 0.31 0.21 0.36 0.36 0.38 0.34 0.35 0.34
Animal Production no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Crop Production - - - - - - - - -
Fuel Use 0.32 0.31 0.21 0.36 0.36 0.38 0.34 0.35 0.34
Commercial / Residential / Institutional (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 140 000 120 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000
Cigarette Smoking 1.0 0.90 0.68 0.62 0.53 0.54 0.48 0.48 0.49
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 2.6 3.1 3.0 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.3
Commercial Cooking 100 110 120 120 120 120 110 110 110
Construction Fuel Combustion 0.45 0.19 0.41 0.32 0.26 0.26 0.28 0.22 0.22
Home Firewood Burning 140 000 120 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000
Human no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Marine Cargo Handling - - - - - - - - -
Residential Fuel Combustion 5.3 4.6 4.3 3.5 3.4 3.5 3.3 3.0 2.9
Service Stations - - - - - - - - -
Other (Commercial / Residential / Institutional) - - - - - - - - -
Incineration and Waste (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 670 630 690 680 680 690 690 700 710
Crematoriums 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Waste Incineration 670 630 690 680 680 690 690 700 710
Waste Treatment and Disposal no emissions (-) - - 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00
Paints and Solvents (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Dry Cleaning - - - - - - - - -
General Solvent Use - - - - - - - - -
Printing - - - - - - - - -
Surface Coatings - - - - - - - - -
Dust (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Coal Transportation - - - - - - - - -
Construction Operations - - - - - - - - -
Mine Tailings - - - - - - - - -
Paved Roads - - - - - - - - -
Unpaved Roads - - - - - - - - -
Fires (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 9 800 2 000 1 200 2 000 880 3 600 2 900 2 400 1 400
Prescribed Burning 9 800 2 000 1 200 2 000 880 3 600 2 900 2 400 1 400
Structural Fires no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Totals (kg)
Source 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Ore and Mineral Industries 190 000 100 000 50 000 24 000 32 000 24 000 5 400 670 530
Oil and Gas Industry 150 95 46 28 27 25 24 20 18
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 370 360 240 7.8 6.7 6.4 6.1 6.8 6.5
Manufacturing 320 300 300 170 130 170 110 96 110
Transportation and Mobile Equipment 24 000 20 000 15 000 9 500 9 200 8 400 7 900 8 200 8 100
Agriculture 0.32 0.31 0.21 0.36 0.36 0.38 0.34 0.35 0.34
Commercial / Residential / Institutional 140 000 120 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000
Incineration and Waste 670 630 690 680 680 690 690 700 710
Paints and Solvents no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Dust - - - - - - - - -
Fires 9 800 2 000 1 200 2 000 880 3 600 2 900 2 400 1 400
Grand Total 360 000 250 000 170 000 140 000 150 000 140 000 120 000 110 000 110 000

Notes:

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

- Indicates no emissions

0.00 Indicates emissions truncated due to rounding

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