Industrial emissions

  • Image, Industrial emissions.

    2018 air indicators are now available

    Industrial activities emit a range of pollutants that affect our air quality. The health effects associated with exposure to these pollutants range from respiratory irritation to some forms of cancer.

    We classified Industrial emissions as a case study.

    Key findings

    Industrial activities are the main human-made source of sulphur oxides (SOx).

    • Of the total estimated annual emissions of pollutants from the key human-made sources (industry, road motor vehicles, home heating, and household outdoor burning) over the period 2008–13, industry contributed:
      • particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter (PM10), 27 percent
      • particulate matter 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter (PM2.5), 20 percent
      • nitrogen oxides (NOx), 25 percent
      • sulphur oxides (SOx), 95 percent (from industry, home heating, and household outdoor burning only)
      • carbon monoxide (CO), 7 percent.
    • The estimated quantity of emissions of pollutants from industry varies around the country and can be localised to specific point sources (eg a particular factory).

    Figure 1

    Note: Non-industry includes emissions from burning wood or coal for home heating, road motor vehicles and household outdoor burning. Sulphur oxides emissions are not estimated for road motor vehicles. These emissions are expected to be low. SOx – sulphur oxides; PM10 – particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter; NOx – nitrogen oxides; PM2.5 – particulate matter 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter; CO – carbon monoxide.

    Figure 2

    Note: Emissions are based on information for the period 2008–13. Many sources were used to improve the completeness of the estimates.

    Definition and methodology

    Estimates of industrial emissions focus on industrial activities that use coal and wood for energy sources. Our estimated emissions were based on fuel consumption and boiler type, if known. 

    The estimates include little information on industrial activities that use gas- and oil-combustion sources, produce process emissions (eg milk driers), or involve abrasive and mechanical processes (eg grinding materials). We excluded some small-scale coal and wood boilers (eg school boilers), but the exclusion for national estimates are considered to be minimal.

    We compare emissions of key air pollutants from industrial activities with emissions from the other three main New Zealand sources (burning wood or coal for home heating, road motor vehicles, and household outdoor burning).

    Data quality

    We classified Industrial emissions as a case study.

    Relevance

     This case study is a partial measure of the ‘Emissions of air pollutants from industrial activities’ topic.

    Accuracy

     The accuracy of the data source is of medium quality.

    See Data quality information for more detail.

     

    Published 21 October 2015

Top
  • Share this page
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+