Canada’s Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory Report 2020: chapter 2.11

2.11 Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

The APEI reports emissions of four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)s: 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 2018, 111 t of PAHs were emitted in Canada (Table 2–13), with 90% (101 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 8% (8 t) of PAH emissions in 2018.

Home firewood burning dominates PAH emissions throughout the time series. This source experienced a 26% (36 t) emission decrease from 1990 to 2018. 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.

From 1990 to 2018, PAH emissions decreased by 69% (249 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 2008 to 2016 due to process improvements and the progressive phase-out of old Söderberg aluminium production technologies (ECCC, Annual Public Report of Environmental Performance Agreement Concerning Atmospheric Emissions of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons between Environment and Climate Change Canada and Rio Tinto Alcan, 2014).

Emissions of these four types of PAHs from iron and steel industry experienced a large drop earlier in the time series, from 1993 to 2006, and emissions remained quite small through 2018. Reductions here are a result of effective emission controls on coke ovens and coke by-product plants (EC, 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 2018 include:

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 2018.

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 2018
Section 1 - Home Firewood Burning 136 134 129 135 137 131 129 124 133 127 124 116 127 110 108 103 101 101 101 97 103 103 104 103 102 102 102 101 101
Section 2 - Iron and Steel Industry 80 80 82 86 61 46 32 19 24 30 11 7.3 7.9 8.3 3.7 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 0.40
Section 3 - Aluminium Industry 109 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 0.19
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 6.0 5.9 5.5 5.3 5.5 5.5 5.7
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 5.3 7.8 6.6 6.1 5.1 4.5

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

Ore and Mineral Industries (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 190 000 95 000 50 000 32 000 24 000 5 400 690 550 620
Aluminium Industry 110 000 84 000 45 000 31 000 23 000 4 900 100 130 190
Asphalt Paving Industry 14 14 15 12 13 11 11 10 10
Cement and Concrete Industry 17 13 19 1.7 3.1 2.8 0.23 0.62 0.34
Foundries -* - - - - - - - -
Iron and Steel Industry 80 000 11 000 4 600 550 400 400 440 390 400
Iron Ore Industry - - - 18 19 20 20 21 18
Mineral Products Industry - - - - - - - - -
Mining and Rock Quarrying - - - 160 250 110 110 0.02 0.01
Non-Ferrous Refining and Smelting Industry 2.0 3.0 0.69 0.31 0.31 0.32 0.30 0.33 0.33
Oil and Gas Industry (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 150 95 46 27 25 24 20 18 22
Downstream Oil and Gas Industry 150 92 43 18 16 19 14 13 14
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry 2.3 3.3 2.3 9.0 10 4.8 5.8 4.5 7.9
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 370 360 240 6.7 6.4 6.1 6.8 6.5 0.04
Coal 240 240 240 -* - - - - -
Diesel - - - - - - - - -
Natural Gas 2.9 2.3 0.23 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.04 0.04
Waste Materials - - - - - - - - -
Other (Electric Power Generation) 130 110 - 6.7 6.4 6.0 6.8 6.5 -
Manufacturing (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 320 300 300 58 170 110 96 110 100
Abrasives Manufacturing -* - - - - - - - -
Bakeries - - - - - - - - -
Biofuel Production - - - - - - - - -
Chemicals Industry - 24 30 25 24 25 25 25 24
Electronics - - - - - - - - -
Food Preparation - - - - - - - - -
Glass Manufacturing - - - - - - - - -
Grain Industry - - - - - - - - -
Metal Fabrication - - 8.3 4.1 - - - - -
Plastics Manufacturing - - - - - - - - -
Pulp and Paper Industry 110 130 190 18 130 73 64 78 75
Textiles - - - - - - - - -
Vehicle Manufacturing (Engines, Parts, Assembly, Painting) - - - 0.02 0.03 0.02 0.01 0.02 0.02
Wood Products 210 150 72 11 10 8.6 7.9 6.0 5.9
Other (Manufacturing) - - 2.2 - - - - - -
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 24 000 20 000 15 000 9 200 8 400 7 900 8 200 8 300 8 500
Air Transportation 8.4 6.0 2.8 3.4 3.4 3.6 3.5 3.9 4.4
Heavy-duty Diesel Vehicles 910 990 1 200 750 690 610 600 630 660
Heavy-duty Gasoline Vehicles 6 200 4 300 4 200 2 300 1 900 1 800 1 900 1 900 2 000
Heavy-duty LPG/NG Vehicles 1 100 1 300 330 5.2 2.8 2.5 3.5 6.7 6.7
Light-duty Diesel Trucks 2.1 2.7 2.8 1.6 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.3 2.4
Light-duty Diesel Vehicles 7.8 5.4 3.4 2.6 2.5 2.4 2.2 2.2 2.1
Light-duty Gasoline Trucks 4 500 5 400 3 800 2 900 2 800 2 800 3 000 3 000 3 200
Light-duty Gasoline Vehicles 11 000 7 600 5 000 2 900 2 700 2 500 2 500 2 500 2 500
Light-duty LPG/NG Trucks 380 170 80 1.3 0.95 0.85 0.93 1.1 1.1
Light-duty LPG/NG Vehicles 47 25 12 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.06 0.06
Marine Transportation 120 150 170 210 240 110 110 120 120
Motorcycles 39 38 42 38 37 37 40 41 42
Off-Road Diesel Vehicles and Equipment -* - - - - - - - -
Off-Road Gasoline/LPG/NG Vehicles and Equipment - - - - - - - - -
Rail Transportation 63 59 58 43 40 34 31 35 36
Tire Wear and Brake Lining - - - - - - - - -
Agriculture (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 0.32 0.31 0.21 0.36 0.38 0.34 0.35 0.35 0.35
Animal Production -* - - - - - - - -
Crop Production - - - - - - - - -
Fuel Use 0.32 0.31 0.21 0.36 0.38 0.34 0.35 0.35 0.35
Commercial / Residential / Institutional (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 140 000 120 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000
Cigarette Smoking1 1.0 0.90 0.68 0.53 0.53 0.47 0.48 0.48 0.49
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 2.6 3.1 3.0 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.2
Commercial Cooking 100 110 120 120 120 110 110 110 110
Construction Fuel Combustion 0.45 0.19 0.41 0.26 0.26 0.28 0.22 0.23 0.22
Home Firewood Burning 140 000 120 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000
Human1 -* - - - - - - - -
Marine Cargo Handling - - - - - - - - -
Residential Fuel Combustion 5.3 4.6 4.3 3.4 3.5 3.3 3.0 3.0 3.2
Service Stations - - - - - - - - -
Other (Miscellaneous) - - - - - - - - -
Incineration and Waste (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 670 630 690 680 690 690 700 710 710
Crematoriums 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Waste Incineration 670 630 690 680 690 690 700 710 710
Waste Treatment and Disposal -* - - 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00
Paints and Solvents (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total -* - - - - - - - -
Dry Cleaning - - - - - - - - -
General Solvent Use - - - - - - - - -
Printing - - - - - - - - -
Surface Coatings - - - - - - - - -
Dust (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total -* - - - - - - - -
Coal Transportation - - - - - - - - -
Construction Operations - - - - - - - - -
Mine Tailings - - - - - - - - -
Paved Roads - - - - - - - - -
Unpaved Roads - - - - - - - - -
Fires (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sub-total 9 800 2 000 1 200 880 3 600 2 900 2 400 1 400 680
Prescribed Burning 9 800 2 000 1 200 880 3 600 2 900 2 400 1 400 680
Structural Fires -* - - - - - - - -
Totals (kg)
Sector 1990 2000 2005 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Ore and Mineral Industries 190 000 95 000 50 000 32 000 24 000 5 400 690 550 620
Oil and Gas Industry 150 95 46 27 25 24 20 18 22
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 370 360 240 6.7 6.4 6.1 6.8 6.5 0.04
Manufacturing 320 300 300 58 170 110 96 110 100
Transportation and Mobile Equipment 24 000 20 000 15 000 9 200 8 400 7 900 8 200 8 300 8 500
Agriculture 0.32 0.31 0.21 0.36 0.38 0.34 0.35 0.35 0.35
Commercial / Residential / Institutional 140 000 120 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000
Incineration and Waste 670 630 690 680 690 690 700 710 710
Paints and Solvents -* - - - - - - - -
Dust - - - - - - - - -
Fires 9 800 2 000 1 200 880 3 600 2 900 2 400 1 400 680
Grand Total 360 000 240 000 170 000 150 000 140 000 120 000 110 000 110 000 110 000

Notes:

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

1. Cigarette Smoking as well as Infant Diapered Waste (which is included within the Human sector) are being considered for removal from future inventories. If you have any questions, please contact us at ec.iepa-apei.ec@canada.ca or 1-877-877-8375.

* - = no emission

0.00 Indicates emissions truncated due to rounding

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