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Organic emissions historically low

Source: E-PRTR, NEC Directive Inventory

  • In 2013, the volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions of the sector reached a new historic low of 10 ktonnes, and this despite increased production. This is an absolute decoupling between production and emissions.
  • The sector specific emissions have dropped by 60% within the last ten years.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC) contribute to ozone peaks owing to photochemical reactions in the lower atmosphere.
  • VOCs are organic chemicals that evaporate easily. The main sources are transport emissions (fuel vapours), and the use of solvents in some industrial processes. The significant decrease in the sector’s VOC emissions between 1987 and 2001 is a result of good housekeeping, process optimisation, improved emission control during storage and transport, and the introduction of water-based paints, Hi-solid paints and other solvent-free products.
  • More recently, these measures have been complemented by vapour recovery systems to further reduce or eliminate VOC emissions through dedicated emission treatment (with re-use of combustion heat), and by advanced fugitive emission detection and repair of leaks.