As they have different acidification factors, SO2, NOx and NH3 are expressed in acid-equivalents (Aeq).
Sources: E-PRTR, DG Statistics
Pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and ammonia (NH3) can become acidifying components in the atmosphere. These so-called ‘acid rains’ have adverse effects on the climate, air quality, ecosystems, human health and infrastructure.
In the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industries, acidifying emissions originate mainly from fossil fuel combustion and the production of sulphuric acid, ammonia and nitric acid (used in producing fertilizers and cleaners and in refrigeration).
However, the sector accounts for only 16% of emissions from manufacturing as a whole, and 3% of the total for Belgium. Compared to 2001, the absolute acidifying emissions more than halved while the production index nearly doubled. The sector continues to invest in environmental solutions to limit its NOx and SOx emissions to a minimum.
By using the Best Available Techniques, the industry is approaching the limits of what is technically feasible in terms of reducing acidifying emissions.
Sources: E-PRTR, NEC Directive Inventory.