European emissions of nitrogen oxides arise mainly from anthropogenic combustion

sources, where NO is formed by reaction between the nitrogen and the oxygen in the

combustion air and to some extent by oxidation of nitrogen in the fuel. The amounts

formed depend on the pressure and temperature of the combustion process. Minor

amounts of NO2 (usually <10%) are emitted directly during combustion. Natural

nitrogen oxides emissions emitted from soil, volcanoes and lightning are important on

the global scale, but account for a small part (<10%) of total European emissions

(Whelpdale, 1987).

The main anthropogenic sources are mobile combustion sources (road, air and water

traffic) and stationary combustion sources (including industrial combustion). These

main categories accounted for 57 and 39% respectively of the total European nitrogen

oxide emission in 1994 (CORINAIR, 1995). Nitrogen oxides from industrial

processes may be mainly emitted as NO2, while the industrial combustion sources

mainly emit NO. Directly emitted NO2 may make significant contributions to the NO2

concentrations in some areas.

Since the amount of NOx emission is dependent on combustion conditions and process

loads, estimates of emissions from different types of sources and areas will always be

uncertain. In some cases the degree of uncertainty may be large.

 

Emission data from European States are inventoried and reported by the CORe

Inventory AIR project (CORINAIR). Data for the year 1995 from major source

categories in the different countries are presented in Table 1.1.

Official data on national nitrogen oxides emissions for Europe are reported to and

compiled by European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) (Barrett et al.,

1995, Barrett and Berge, 1996), set up under the UNECE Convention for Long Range

Transboundary Air Pollution. Data have been reported since 1980 and the changes

over time between 1980 and 1993 have been studied. The relative changes in

emissions are presented in Table 1.2. In contrast to the trend for sulphur dioxide

emissions, there has been a small reduction of 2% in total European nitrogen oxides

emissions as a total for Europe.

 

 

 

 

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