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No. 70: Danish Emission Inventory for Waste Incineration and Other Waste

Hjelgaard, K. 2013. Danish Emission Inventory for Waste Incineration and Other Waste. Inventories until year 2011. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 96 pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy No. 70 http://www.dmu.dk/Pub/SR70.pdf


The Danish emission inventories are prepared on an annual basis and are reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to the Kyoto Protocol as well as to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention). Furthermore, a greenhouse gas emission inventory is reported to the European Union (EU), due to the EU – as well as the individual member states – being Party to the Climate Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Four pollutants are estimated for reporting to the European Commission’s National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD). The annual Danish emission inventories are prepared by DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy at Aarhus University. The inventories include the following pollutants relevant to waste incineration without energy recovery and other waste: sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), ammonia (NH3), particulate matter, heavy metals, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), dioxins and furans (PCDD/F), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In addition to annual national emissions the report includes emissions data for a number of source categories. Every five years the reporting includes data on the geographical distribution of the emissions, a projection of emissions data and details of the activity data on which the inventories are based.

In the Danish emission database emissions are held on SNAP level (Selected Nomenclature for Air Pollution), the inventory of emissions from waste incineration is segmented into sub-categories covering human cremation (SNAP 090901) and animal cremation (SNAP 090902), and the inventory of emissions from other waste is segmented into sub-categories covering compost production (SNAP 091005), biogas production (SNAP 091006) and accidental building and vehicle fires (SNAP 091009).

The inventories for waste incineration and other waste are based on activity data from different statistical databases and reports and on a set of emission factors for various source categories. This report provides detailed background information on the methodology and references for the input data in the inventory, activity data and emission factors. Emission factors are based on either literature studies or on international guidebooks (European Environment Agency (EEA) 2007, 2009 and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1997, 2000, 2006). The overall method for estimating emissions is to multiply activity data by an emission factor. The data basis and the adopted methods are outlined on sub-sector level in this report. The emissions are calculated for the years 1980-2011 according to reporting requirements.

In 2011 the total Danish emission of greenhouse gasses was 53,583 Gg CO2 equivalents including emissions and removals associated with land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). Emissions from the source categories waste incineration (without energy recovery) and other waste accounts for 147 Gg CO2 equivalents or approximately 0.3 %. The major part of the emissions is emitted as CH4 (57 %), and the major part of the CH4 emission is emitted from the other waste subsector; composting (98 % of CH4 emissions). The major source of N2O is also composting (99 % of N2O emissions). And the major source of CO2 emissions is accidental building fires with 12 Gg in 2011 or 67 % of the emission of non-biogenic CO2 from waste incineration and other waste.

Besides the greenhouse gasses CO2, CH4 and N2O, other relevant emissions in the inventory on emissions from waste incineration and other waste include SO2, NOx, particulate matter and heavy metals. Accidental building fires are the major source of SO2 emissions with 598 Mg or 97 % of the sector in 2011 and human cremation is the major source to NOx emissions closely followed by building fires (39 % and 38 % respectively). Building fires are also the major source of particle emissions with 173 Mg or 96 % in 2011. The most important heavy metal emissions are in this context those of Zn, Pb and Hg. All three were nearly constant from 1980-2010 but has strongly decreased from 2010 to 2011; Zn, Pb and Hg have decreased with 15 %, 14 % and 97 % respectively to the total emissions of 444 kg, 113 kg and 1 kg respectively in 2011. This decrease is caused by installation of particle filters at all Danish crematoria and by fewer vehicle fires. In 2011, 96 % of all remaining heavy metal emissions (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) from the source category waste incineration and other waste were caused by accidental vehicle fires.