Canada’s Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory Report: chapter 2.2

2.2  Sulphur oxides (SOx)

In 2017, 954 kt of SOx were emitted in Canada (Table 2–4). Ore and mineral industries were the largest contributor, accounting for 40% (377 kt) of national emissions. Approximately 71% (267 kt) of the emissions from this source were attributed to the non-ferrous refining and smelting industry. Electric power generation (utilities) was the second-largest source of SOx, accounting for 26% (246 kt) of total SOx emissions, almost entirely attributed to coal-fired electricity generation at 25% (236 kt). The oil and gas industry accounts for 27% (256 kt) of total SOx emissions. The remaining 7% of SOx emissions were distributed across multiple sources.

Overall, SOx emissions decreased by 69% (2.1 Mt) between 1990 and 2017 (Figure 2–2). Reductions in emissions from the non-ferrous refining and smelting industry were the largest driver of this downward trend, particularly in the early 1990s, and again from 2008 to 2017. This decrease can be attributed to the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans by facilities , the installation of new technology or processes at facilities, and the closure of three major smelters in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec (ECCC, 2017). Emissions from electric power generation decreased significantly from 2003 to 2017, due primarily to a reduction in coal-fired electricity generation across the country including a complete phase-out in Ontario. Upstream oil and gas industry experienced a gradual decline throughout the time series as a result of a decrease in emissions from oil sands mining, extraction and upgrading and natural gas processing, attributed to better emission control technologies.

The most significant decreases in SOx emissions from 1990 to 2017 include:

  • ore and mineral industries: decrease of 75% (1.1 Mt), of which:
    • Non-ferrous refining and smelting industry: decrease of 79% (1.0 Mt)
  • electric power generation (utilities): decrease of 60% (373 kt), of which:
    • Coal (electric power generation): decrease of 54% (279 kt)
  • oil and gas industry: decrease of 52% (278 kt), of which:
    • Upstream oil and gas industry: decrease of 48% (195 kt)

Figure 2-2: Major contributors to national SOx trends

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

Figure 2-2 is a stacked area graph displaying the four major contributors to National SOx trends. The four contributors are the following: Non-Ferrous Refining and Smelting Industry, Coal (Electric Power Generation), Upstream Oil and Gas Industry and Other. The following table displays the contributions (kt) for the years 1990 to 2017.

Figure 2-2: Major contributors to national SOx 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 - Non-Ferrous Refining and Smelting Industry 1300 1100 970 900 680 890 880 820 830 770 760 760 750 650 710 680 660 620 560 400 370 330 340 370 370 360 360 270
Sector 2 - Coal (Electric Power Generation) 510 510 520 460 490 460 470 510 520 510 530 540 530 530 490 460 440 470 410 370 320 290 280 270 260 240 240 240
Sector 3 - Upstream Oil and Gas Industry 400 400 420 430 460 440 430 390 370 380 370 360 340 350 340 340 320 310 290 290 270 270 270 260 230 210 200 210
Sector 4 - Other 870 820 810 850 800 780 800 800 770 740 730 730 710 730 730 680 530 510 460 410 390 380 370 340 340 250 250 240

Table 2-4:  National summary of annual SOx emissions

Ore and Mineral Industries (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 1 500 000 920 000 840 000 470 000 480 000 480 000 470 000 470 000 380 000
Aluminium Industry 31 000 48 000 63 000 62 000 60 000 55 000 57 000 64 000 66 000
Asphalt Paving Industry 740 650 720 620 580 650 660 720 740
Cement and Concrete Industry 48 000 45 000 54 000 25 000 23 000 20 000 23 000 24 000 23 000
Foundries 1 300 910 720 48 48 48 48 49 48
Iron and Steel Industry 36 000 29 000 30 000 30 000 24 000 24 000 22 000 17 000 18 000
Iron Ore Industry 59 000 17 000 1 200 400 460 420 220 630 160
Mineral Products Industry 1 300 820 1 800 1 500 1 800 1 600 1 400 1 500 850
Mining and Rock Quarrying 35 000 11 000 13 000 3 300 2 500 2 300 2 100 1 900 2 300
Non-Ferrous Mining and Smelting Industry 1 300 000 760 000 680 000 340 000 370 000 370 000 360 000 360 000 270 000
Oil and Gas Industry (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 530 000 500 000 450 000 330 000 310 000 280 000 260 000 250 000 260 000
Downstream Oil and Gas Industry 130 000 140 000 110 000 54 000 55 000 52 000 44 000 50 000 47 000
Upstream Oil and Gas Petroleum Industry 400 000 370 000 340 000 270 000 260 000 230 000 210 000 200 000 210 000
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 620 000 620 000 520 000 280 000 280 000 270 000 250 000 250 000 250 000
Coal 510 000 530 000 460 000 280 000 270 000 260 000 240 000 240 000 240 000
Diesel 410 420 300 14 15 39 160 73 74
Natural Gas 29 000 21 000 19 000 650 1 400 2 400 2 100 1 800 1 100
Waste Materials 0.76 21 25 46 37 24 11 29 23
Other (Electric Power Generation) 74 000 63 000 41 000 5 800 5 100 7 000 7 700 8 200 8 300
Manufacturing (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 220 000 150 000 140 000 51 000 49 000 53 000 49 000 45 000 42 000
Abrasives Manufacture 4 000 860 860 no emissions (-) - - - - -
Bakeries - - 0.15 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Biofuel Production - - - - - - - - -
Chemicals Industry 38 000 31 000 35 000 19 000 19 000 21 000 22 000 20 000 17 000
Electronics 1 700 3 000 3 000 - - - - 0.04 -
Food Preparation 3 500 4 800 6 000 900 740 610 370 280 370
Glass Manufacturing 2 300 2 800 2 500 630 630 600 630 610 590
Grain Industry 230 210 390 660 630 470 510 530 490
Metal Fabrication 2 300 2 700 2 000 200 190 9.0 8.5 11 10
Plastics Manufacturing 470 26 3.3 0.01 0.01 0.01 - - 0.01
Pulp and Paper Industry 140 000 78 000 66 000 26 000 26 000 29 000 24 000 21 000 22 000
Textiles 390 390 320 41 31 22 17 21 19
Vehicle Manufacture (Engines, Parts, Assembly, Painting) 2 300 2 100 990 45 150 0.64 0.01 0.01 0.02
Wood Products 2 600 3 000 2 500 560 550 600 570 580 580
Other (Manufacturing) 29 000 25 000 25 000 2 000 1 400 1 400 1 200 1 400 1 100
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 150 000 170 000 150 000 110 000 100 000 96 000 18 000 17 000 17 000
Air Transportation 5 300 6 700 7 500 5 900 6 200 6 000 6 200 6 400 6 600
Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles 15 000 6 700 6 100 160 170 160 160 150 150
Heavy-Duty Gasoline Vehicles 970 2 000 150 190 190 180 180 190 190
Heavy-Duty LPG/NG Vehicles 240 1 300 9.0 0.92 0.43 0.32 0.38 0.45 0.65
Light-Duty Diesel Trucks 170 78 52 1.6 1.8 2.2 2.8 3.2 3.7
Light-Duty Diesel Vehicles 570 130 110 3.0 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.1 3.0
Light-Duty Gasoline Trucks 3 200 6 400 510 640 670 670 700 740 740
Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles 7 300 8 400 560 550 560 540 540 550 520
Light-Duty LPG/NG Trucks 190 180 10 0.38 0.20 0.16 0.14 0.16 0.19
Light-Duty LPG/NG Vehicles 23 28 1.4 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Marine Transportation 80 000 110 000 130 000 98 000 93 000 88 000 9 600 8 900 8 200
Motorcycles 15 25 2.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.2 4.4 4.5
Off-road Diesel Vehicles and Equipment 28 000 17 000 6 700 150 150 150 150 130 140
Off-road Gasoline/LPG/CNG Vehicles and Equipment 1 400 1 500 83 72 74 78 80 80 82
Rail Transportation 5 700 5 400 5 000 180 50 51 48 45 45
Tire Wear and Brake Lining no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Agriculture (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 2 200 1 500 2 900 8 100 8 500 9 300 6 900 6 400 6 500
Animal Production no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Crop Production - - - - - - - - -
Fuel Use 2 200 1 500 2 900 8 100 8 500 9 300 6 900 6 400 6 500
Commercial / Residential / Institutional (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 52 000 36 000 37 000 14 000 9 900 10 000 8 900 7 300 7 200
Cigarette Smoking no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 19 000 19 000 21 000 6 000 3 000 3 300 2 400 1 500 1 600
Commercial Cooking - - - - - - - - -
Construction Fuel Combustion 1 900 620 1 400 650 530 520 620 420 410
Home Firewood Burning 3 600 3 300 2 700 2 900 2 800 2 800 2 800 2 800 2 800
Human - - - - - - - - -
Marine Cargo Handling 0.01 0.00 - - 140 140 88 91 120
Residential Fuel Combustion 28 000 14 000 11 000 4 300 3 400 3 200 3 000 2 500 2 300
Service Stations - - - - - - - - -
Other (Commercial / Residential / Institutional) - - - - - - - - -
Incineration and Waste (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 2 300 3 000 3 200 2 400 2 500 2 700 3 000 2 800 2 900
Crematoriums 5.5 7.1 9.1 11 12 13 13 13 14
Waste Incineration 1 900 2 600 2 700 2 100 2 100 2 100 2 200 2 100 2 200
Waste Treatment and Disposal 440 400 420 200 350 520 800 710 710
Paints and Solvents (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 2.1 1.5 0.63 no emissions (-) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Dry Cleaning 0.01 0.01 - - - - - - -
General Solvent Use - - - - - - - - -
Printing 2.0 1.5 0.63 - 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Surface Coatings 0.01 0.01 - - - - - - -
Dust (tonnes)
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 (tonnes)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sub-total 180 28 18 34 13 53 41 34 20
Prescribed Forest Burning 180 28 18 34 13 53 41 34 20
Structural Fires no emissions (-) - - - - - - - -
Totals (tonnes)
Source 1990 2000 2005 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Ore and Mineral Industries 1 500 000 920 000 840 000 470 000 480 000 480 000 470 000 470 000 380 000
Oil and Gas Industry 530 000 500 000 450 000 330 000 310 000 280 000 260 000 250 000 260 000
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 620 000 620 000 520 000 280 000 280 000 270 000 250 000 250 000 250 000
Manufacturing 220 000 150 000 140 000 51 000 49 000 53 000 49 000 45 000 42 000
Transportation and Mobile Equipment 150 000 170 000 150 000 110 000 100 000 96 000 18 000 17 000 17 000
Agriculture 2 200 1 500 2 900 8 100 8 500 9 300 6 900 6 400 14
Commercial / Residential / Institutional 52 000 36 000 37 000 14 000 9 900 10 000 8 900 7 300 3 600
Incineration and Waste 2 300 3 000 3 200 2 400 2 500 2 700 3 000 2 800 2 900
Paints and Solvents 2.1 1.5 0.63 no emissions (-) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Dust - - - - - - - - -
Fires 180 28 18 34 13 53 41 34 20
Grand Total 3 100 000 2 400 000 2 200 000 1 300 000 1 200 000 1 200 000 1 100 000 1 000 000 950 000

Notes:

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

- Indicates no emissions

0.00 Indicates emissions truncated due to rounding

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