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Canada's black carbon inventory - 2017 edition

2. Black carbon emissions in Canada

Approximately 38 kilotonnes (kt) of black carbon were emitted in Canada in 2015 (Table 2-1). Emissions have been grouped according to the following sources:

  • Ore and Mineral Industries
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Electric Power Generation (Utilities)
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and Mobile Equipment
  • Agriculture
  • Fuel Use
  • Commercial / Residential / Institutional

Transportation and mobile equipment sources are by far the most important sources of black carbon in Canada, accounting for 21.9 kt (57.3%) of total emissions (Table 2-1). An important source in this category is mobile diesel engines which includes on-road and off-road diesel and accounts for 43% (16.5 kt) of total emissions. Estimation methods are outlined in Section 2.5.

Commercial/Residential/Institutional sources are the second-largest contributor to black carbon emissions in Canada, representing emissions of 12.6 kt, or 33.0% of total emissions. Home firewood burning is the largest source in this category, representing 11.5 kt of emissions, or 30.1% of total emissions. Wood is an abundant fuel in Canada; it is estimated that 14 million tonnes of wood are burned annually in Canadian homes. More information on the estimation methods can be found in Section 2.7.

Improvements are described in Section 2.9, while future refinements are discussed in Section 3.

Generally, black carbon emissions are calculated using PM2.5 emissions from combustion processes and the fraction of black carbon in the PM2.5. For example, diesel engines have relatively high emission rates of PM2.5 per unit energy, and the fraction of black carbon in these PM2.5 emissions is also relatively high. The majority of diesel fuel in Canada is used for mobile sources, particularly in off-road applications. Other combustion sources with high PM2.5 emissions include solid fuel combustion units, such as coal- and wood-fired boilers. Industrial sources are generally equipped with highly effective PM2.5 controls on boiler emissions, with PM-control efficiencies often in the 90% range. This is reflected in the lower PM2.5 emissions compared to other sources. In contrast, the smaller and markedly different equipment used for residential wood combustion (fireplaces, wood stoves or furnaces) have poorer PM2.5 -control efficiencies than larger units, notwithstanding the different types of fuel and firing practices used for burning firewood. Given the lack of treatment of stack gases, residential wood-burning devices are by far the largest source of combustion-related PM2.5 emissions in Canada, but black carbon emissions from residential wood burning are only one third that of mobile sources due to a lower BC/ PM2.5 fraction for wood devices than for diesel engines.

Table 2-1: Black carbon emissions in Canada (2015)
SourceSectorSubsectorBlack carbon
(tonnes)
Percentage of total
Total38,243100%
Ore and Mineral IndustriesNot applicableNot applicable4491.2%
Ore and Mineral IndustriesAluminium IndustryNot applicable370.1%
Ore and Mineral IndustriesCement and Concrete IndustryNot applicable210.1%
Ore and Mineral IndustriesFoundriesNot applicable0.050<0.01%
Ore and Mineral IndustriesMining and Rock QuarryingNot applicable3911.0%
Oil and Gas IndustryNot applicableNot applicable2,5566.7%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryNot applicable2,5566.7%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryBitumen and Heavy Oil Upgrading5261.4%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryDisposal and Waste Treatment5.2<0.1%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryHeavy Crude Oil Cold Production1140.3%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryLight Medium Crude Oil Production7892.1%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryNatural Gas Production and Processing7502.0%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryOil Sands In-Situ Extraction and Processing2440.6%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryOil Sands Mining Extraction and Processing700.2%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryPetroleum Liquids Storage0.63<0.01%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryPetroleum Liquids Transportation2.3<0.01%
Oil and Gas IndustryUpstream Petroleum IndustryWell Drilling/Servicing/Testing540.1%
Electric Power Generation (Utilities)Not applicableNot applicable2410.6%
Electric Power Generation (Utilities)CoalNot applicable470.1%
Electric Power Generation (Utilities)Natural GasNot applicable250.1%
Electric Power Generation (Utilities)DieselNot applicable1270.3%
Electric Power Generation (Utilities)Other Electric Power GenerationNot applicable410.1%
ManufacturingNot applicableNot applicable4341.1%
ManufacturingPulp and Paper IndustryNot applicable2140.6%
ManufacturingWood ProductsNot applicable2200.6%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentNot applicableNot applicable21,92957%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentAir TransportationNot applicable6681.7%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentMarine TransportationNot applicable1,2353.2%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOn-Road TransportNot applicable6,40417%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOn-Road TransportDiesel5,67915%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOn-Road TransportGasoline7221.9%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOn-Road TransportLiquid Petroleum Gas0.19<0.01%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOn-Road TransportCompressed Natural Gas2.8<0.01%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOff-Road TransportNot applicable11,36930%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOff-Road TransportDiesel10,83328%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentOff-Road TransportGasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas5361.4%
Transportation and Mobile EquipmentRail TransportationNot applicable2,2535.9%
AgricultureNot applicableNot applicable240.1%
AgricultureFuel UseNot applicable240.1%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalNot applicableNot applicable12,61033%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalCommercial and Institutional Fuel CombustionNot applicable8882.3%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalConstruction Fuel CombustionNot applicable380.1%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalHome Firewood BurningNot applicable11,52530%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalHome Firewood BurningFireplaces3,3168.7%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalHome Firewood BurningFurnaces4,13111%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalHome Firewood BurningWood Stoves4,07811%
Commercial / Residential / InstitutionalResidential Fuel CombustionNot applicable1600.4%

2.1 Ore and mineral industries

Ore and mineral industry sources include primary resource extraction and processing (Table 2-2 and Figure 2-1). For the purpose of this inventory, black carbon emissions were considered for the following industries:

  • Aluminium industry
  • Cement and concrete industry
  • Foundries
  • Mining and rock quarrying

Greater sectoral coverage and further refinement of emissions are expected in future inventories.

Among all ore and mineral industry activities included in this inventory, the mining and rock quarrying industry accounts for the largest proportion (1.0% or 0.4 kt) of black carbon emissions in 2015 (Figure 2-1). Black carbon emissions from the mining and rock quarrying sector are larger due to the emissions from remote mines that generate electricity using diesel.

The APEI Report (Environment and Climate Change Canada 2017) provides more information on the development of PM2.5 emission estimates from ore and mineral industries.

Table 2-2: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from the ore and mineral industries (2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total5,1925,0094,563502462449
Aluminium industry2,3692,1421,694514637
Cement and concrete industry9558681,017211821
Foundries6.46.76.00.0600.0600.050
Mining and rock quarrying1,8621,9921,846431398391

Figure 2-1: Black carbon emissions from ore and mineral industries (2015)

Figure 2-1 is a pie graph representing the black carbon emissions from Ore and Mineral Industries.

Long Description
Black carbon emissions from ore and mineral industries (2015)
IndustriesEmissions (%)
Mining and Rock Quarrying87%
Aluminium Industry8%
Cement and Concrete Industry5%
Foundries1%

2.2 Oil and gas industry

Oil and gas industry sources include activities in the upstream petroleum industry (Table 2-3 and Figure 2-2). The following sources are included in this year’s report:

  • Bitumen and Heavy Oil Upgrading
  • Disposal and Waste Treatment
  • Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production
  • Light Medium Crude Oil Production
  • Natural Gas Production and Processing
  • Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction and Processing
  • Oil Sands Mining Extraction and Processing
  • Petroleum Liquids Storage
  • Petroleum Liquids Transportation
  • Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing

The upstream petroleum industry accounts for 2.56 kt or 6.7% of all black carbon emitted in 2015. Among all of the upstream petroleum industry sources included in this inventory, light medium crude oil production accounts for the largest proportion (0.79 kt or 2.1%) of black carbon emissions in 2015 (Figure 2-2).

The next largest source of black carbon emissions in this category is natural gas production and processing, which accounts for 0.75 kt or 2.0% of overall black carbon emissions.

Table 2-3: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from the oil and gas industry
(2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorSubsectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total7,8599,0258,0242,4022,8512,556
Upstream Petroleum IndustryNot applicable7,8599,0258,0242,4022,8512,556
Upstream Petroleum IndustryBitumen and Heavy Oil Upgrading1,4352,2581,646475811526
Upstream Petroleum IndustryDisposal and Waste Treatment2426225.86.35.2
Upstream Petroleum IndustryHeavy Crude Oil Cold Production278282272115116114
Upstream Petroleum IndustryLight Medium Crude Oil Production2,7792,9692,649738781789
Upstream Petroleum IndustryNatural Gas Production and Processing2,3402,3332,229765785750
Upstream Petroleum IndustryOil Sands In-Situ Extraction and Processing574645685198226244
Upstream Petroleum IndustryOil Sands Mining Extraction and Processing144196290354770
Upstream Petroleum IndustryPetroleum Liquids Storage2.82.32.60.670.540.63
Upstream Petroleum IndustryPetroleum Liquids Transportation5.96.36.42.22.32.3
Upstream Petroleum IndustryWell Drilling/Servicing/Testing276307222687654

Figure 2-2: Black carbon emissions from oil and gas industry (2015)

Figure 2-2 is a pie graph representing the black carbon emissions from Oil and Gas Industry.

Long Description
Black carbon emissions from oil and gas industry (2015)
IndustriesEmissions (%)
Light Medium Crude Oil Production31%
Natural Gas Production and Processing29%
Bitumen and Heavy Oil Upgrading21%
Other10%
Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction and Processing9%

2.3 Electric power generation (utilities)

Electric power generation (utilities) sources include the combustion of coal, natural gas and other fuels for the purpose of generating electricity (Table 2-4).

The electric power generation sector accounts for 0.24 kt or 0.6% of all black carbon emissions in 2015 (Table 2-4 and Figure 2-3). Black carbon emissions from electric power generation are low because large facilities using solid fuels are equipped with particulate controls. Emissions of PM2.5 from liquid and gaseous fuels from boilers and heaters are low. There is relatively little diesel fuel used in large stationary electricity generation applications. Coverage for this sector is nearly complete; the remaining small sources (smaller facilities including those in remote communities that do not report their emissions to the National Pollutant Release Inventory) will be addressed in future inventories. Emissions from these sources, though small nationally, can have important regional warming and air quality impacts in such areas as Canada’s North.

The largest emitter of black carbon in this category is diesel which accounts for 0.127 kt and 0.3% of overall black carbon emissions in 2015.

Table 2-4: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from electric power generation (utilities) (2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total3,0513,8843,747202226241
Coal2,1682,9582,763375047
Natural Gas467386378312725
Diesel133149165103115127
Other283391441323541

Figure 2-3: Black carbon emissions from electric power generation (utilities) (2015)

Figure 2-3 is a pie graph representing the black carbon emissions from Electric Power Generation (Utilities).

Long Description
Black carbon emissions from electric power generation (utilities) (2015)
IndustriesEmissions (%)
Diesel53%
Coal20%
Other Electric Power Generation17%
Natural Gas10%

2.4 Manufacturing

Manufacturing sources include the pulp and paper and wood product industries (Table 2-5). This category contributes to 0.43 kt or 1.1% of overall black carbon in 2015; wood products contribute 51% while pulp and paper contribute 49% to the overall black carbon emissions in 2015. While there are other manufacturing sectors, only those with significant PM2.5 emissions as a result of combustion were included in this inventory.

Although the 2015 combustion emissions of PM2.5 from manufacturing sources (10 kt; see Table 2-5) are approximately double those from ore and mineral industry sources, black carbon emissions from ore and mineral industry sources are the same as those from manufacturing sources (0.4 kt). This is due to the lower BC to PM2.5 ratio specific to manufacturing sources of PM2.5, compared to the BC to PM2.5 ratio for ore and mineral industry sources.

Table 2-5: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from manufacturing (2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total11,68510,80410,421509419434
Pulp and Paper Industry8,3058,1017,261277239214
Wood Products3,3802,7023,160233179220

2.5 Transportation and mobile equipment

Transportation and mobile equipment includes air transportation, marine transportation, on-road transportation (diesel, gasoline, liquid petroleum gas, and compressed natural gas), off-road transportation (diesel, gasoline, liquid petroleum gas, and compressed natural gas), and rail transportation (Table 2-6 and Figure 2-4). Off-road transport is a highly diverse source that includes lawn and garden equipment, recreational vehicles such as pleasure craft and snowmobiles, farm equipment, construction and mining equipment, and portable generators and pumps. Both on-road and off-road diesel engines are subject to emission standards for particulate matter and are equipped with sophisticated emission controls to reduce particulate matter. As more new engines equipped with this technology replace older, more polluting engines, it is expected that emissions of particulate matter will decrease.

Transportation and mobile equipment sources are by far the most important sources of black carbon in Canada, accounting for 21.9 kt (57.3%) of total emissions (Table 2-1). An important source in this category is mobile diesel engines which includes on-road and off-road diesel and accounts for 43% (16.5 kt) of total emissions (Figure 2-5). Larger sources of black carbon are those that either emit large quantities of PM2.5, or those for which the BC/ PM2.5 fraction is large. Mobile diesel engines emit significant quantities of PM2.5 and have the highest BC/ PM2.5 fractions of all black carbon sources (Table 2-6). As a result, mobile diesel engines account for nearly all emissions from this category, or about half of total black carbon emissions. The remaining black carbon emissions from transportation and mobile equipment sources come from air, marine, non-diesel off-road transport and rail transportation which account for 5.4 kt and 14% of overall black carbon emitted in 2015.

To estimate emissions from mobile sources, bottom-up approaches were adopted, i.e. applying emission factors to disaggregated activity data. Generally, emission factors are disaggregated by application class, age, load and fuel types, activity data, vehicle-kilometres travelled or number of applications, their hours-of-use and load factor. In all cases other than on-road vehicles, PM2.5 was estimated first and, from these results, black carbon was estimated. For on-road vehicles, the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model (EPA 2014-2) directly outputs black carbon estimates. The methods for estimating PM2.5 emissions from mobile sources are described in the Air Pollutant Emission Inventory Report (Environment and Climate Change Canada 2017).

Table 2-6: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from the transportation and mobile equipment (2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorSubsectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total50,93748,90138,95825,77024,29221,929
Air TransportationNot applicable878868868676668668
Marine TransportationNot applicable13,32313,3234,6042,8132,8131,235
On-Road TransportNot applicable13,95012,94612,0967,4966,9196,404
On-Road TransportDiesel10,5019,7008,9636,7076,1725,679
On-Road TransportGasoline3,4453,2293,117789744722
On-Road TransportLiquid Petroleum Gas2.81.10.940.600.230.19
On-Road TransportCompressed Natural Gas1.416150.263.02.8
Off-Road TransportNot applicable19,98818,88718,46912,62711,67411,369
Off-Road TransportDiesel15,70214,43614,04612,11011,13410,833
Off-Road TransportGasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas,Compressed Natural Gas4,2864,4514,423517540536
Rail TransportationNot applicable2,7982,8762,9212,1582,2182,253

Figure 2-4: Black carbon emissions for the transportation and mobile equipment sector (2015)

Figure 2-4 is a pie graph representing the black carbon emissions from Transportation and Mobile Equipment Sector.

Long Description
Black carbon emissions for the transportation and mobile equipment sector (2015)
IndustriesEmissions (%)
Off-Road Transport52%
On-Road Transport29%
Rail Transportation10%
Marine Transportation6%
Air Transportation3%

2.6 Agriculture

Agriculture sources consist of fuel use for non-mobile equipment, e.g. for drying grain (Table 2-7). Agriculture sources account for 0.02 kt or 0.1% of overall black carbon emitted in 2015. Estimates for these sources are based on the fuel type and quantity consumed in Canada and the corresponding BC/PM2.5 fraction. For this sector, there is a lower BC to PM2.5 ratio specific to agricultural fuel use.

Table 2-7: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from agriculture (2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total279285285232424
Fuel Use279285285232424

2.7 Commercial / residential / institutional sources

Commercial / Residential / Institutional sources include home firewood burning, fuel combustion in commercial and institutional buildings, in construction sites, and in homes. The majority of emissions from these sources are due to combustion in large, efficient commercial boilers, or in small, less-efficient residential fireplaces and woodstoves.

Among all commercial / residential / institutional sources, home firewood burning accounts for the largest proportion (11.5 kt or 30.1%) of black carbon emissions in 2015 (Table 2-8 and Figure 2-5). Emissions from home firewood burning are grouped according to the following categories:

  • Fireplaces
  • Furnaces
  • Wood Stoves

A key determinant of total emissions from home firewood burning is the quantity of wood burned in each type of wood-burning device (residential wood stoves, furnaces, and fireplaces). Wood furnaces emit the highest concentration of PM2.5 and black carbon.

The next largest source of black carbon emissions in this category is commercial and institutional fuel combustion, which accounts for 0.89 kt of emissions and 2.3% of overall black carbon emissions.

Overall, the combustion of fuels other than wood accounts for 2.8% (1.09 kt) of the total black carbon emissions in 2015 from this category. Estimations for these sources are based on the fuel type and quantity consumed in Canada and the corresponding BC/ PM2.5 fraction for each sector.

Table 2-8: Emissions of combustion PM2.5 and black carbon from commercial / residential / institutional components (2013-2015) (tonnes)
SectorSubsectorPM2.5
from combustion 2013
PM2.5
from combustion 2014
PM2.5
from combustion 2015
Black carbon
2013
Black carbon
2014
Black carbon
2015
Total169,440168,589167,48912,69812,68612,610
Commercial and Institutional Fuel CombustionNot applicable2,2552,4102,410832888888
Construction Fuel CombustionNot applicable100104104363838
Home Firewood BurningNot applicable164,707163,566162,46511,67911,60111,525
Home Firewood BurningFireplaces47,66247,19946,7433,3803,3473,316
Home Firewood BurningFurnaces58,94858,57958,2324,1804,1554,131
Home Firewood BurningWood Stoves58,09757,78757,4904,1204,0984,078
Residential Fuel CombustionNot applicable2,3772,5092,509151160160

Figure 2-5: Black carbon emissions for commercial/residential/institutional sector (2015)

Figure 2-5 is a pie graph representing the black carbon emissions from Commercial/Residential/Institutional sectors.

Long Description
Black carbon emissions for commercial/residential/institutional sector (2015)
IndustriesEmissions (%)
Home Firewood Burning92%
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion7%
Residential Fuel Combustion1%
Construction Fuel Combustion<1%

 

2.8 Use of facility reported emissions

Only emissions of PM2.5 resulting from combustion contain significant amounts of black carbon. In the Air Pollutant Emission Inventory, PM2.5 emission estimates are calculated using a variety of data sources, notably emission estimates reported by Canadian facilities to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). For sources that are incompletely covered by PM2.5 estimates reported to the NPRI, PM2.5 emissions are quantified using activity data, statistics and emission factors. For this inventory, all industrial source emissions are estimated using facility data, except in the upstream oil and gas industry, where facility-reported data are used in combination with the results of an independent study. Within non-industrial sources, electric power generation is estimated using facility data, while emissions due to agricultural, construction and residential (wood and other) fuel combustion are estimated from data on fuel consumption and combustion technologies. Commercial fuel combustion is estimated using a combination of facility-reported and other data sources.

Stack emissions of PM2.5 reported by facilities form the basis of the black carbon estimation. For each individual stack, the appropriate black carbon speciation factor (or factors) was applied to the combustion related PM2.5 (AnnexB). The emissions are then summed at the facility level and aggregated to form the sectoral emission estimate.

2.9 Recalculations and completeness

As new data and methodologies become available, emission estimates from previous inventory editions are recalculated. Several methodological changes have occurred since the first annual black carbon inventory, resulting in the recalculations for 2013 and 2014 emissions. (Table 2-9 through 2-14) outlines the changes that have been implemented in this year’s black carbon inventory.

A quantitative assessment of completeness is challenging, because detailed analyses have not been completed for all sources. The sources included in this inventory are estimated to account for at least 90% of anthropogenic black carbon emissions in Canada, since the largest combustion sources as well as those with little PM2.5 control measures are accounted for. An estimate of the sectoral coverage is included in the following tables, and efforts will be made in coming inventories to expand the sectoral coverage.

Table 2-9: Summary of methodological changes or refinement for mining and rock quarrying emissions
Sector/subsectorDescriptionImpact on emissionsSectoral coverage
Mining and Rock QuarryingCorrections made to eliminate double counting of emissions from a facility.Emissions changed by -11%
(-55 t) in 2013 and -12% (-55 t) in 2014.
Complete
Table 2-10: Summary of methodological changes or refinement for oil and gas industry emissions
Sector/subsectorDescriptionImpact on emissionsSectoral coverage
Upstream Petroleum IndustryRecalculations occurred for recent years (2011 through current) as a result of updated activity data being made available. A change in data sources (from facility data to comprehensive sector study) was implemented for the Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction and Processing sector. Corrections were made to address the under-estimation of emissions from three facilities.Emissions changed by +329 t (+16%) in 2013. There was a change of less than ±10% in emission levels for 2014.Complete
Table 2-11: Summary of methodological changes or refinement for electric power generation (utilities) emissions
Sector/subsectorDescriptionImpact on emissionsSectoral coverage
Electric Power Generation (Utilities)Further disaggregated EPG facilities (i.e. separated out diesel burning facilities). Further refined EPG classifications to assign more appropriate emission factors.There was a change of less than ±10% in emission levels for 2013 and 2014.>95% coverage due to smaller facilities not being included (below NPRI reporting thresholds)
Table2-12: Summary of methodological changes or refinement for transportation and mobile equipment emissions
Sector/subsectorDescriptionImpact on emissionsSectoral coverage
On-Road TransportUpdate of MOVES version (2010 to 2014). Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) aligns estimates of on- and off-road fuel use with fuel data in the RESD. This is now done on a provincial, rather than a national basis. The activity data have been updated to a more recent edition of the RESD.Emissions changed by -19% (-1.7 kt) in 2013 and by -20% (-1.7 kt) in 2014.Complete
Marine TransportationModel updates from Marine Emissions Inventory Tool v.4.0 to v.4.3.1, including new interpolation between 2010 and 2015 calendar years. The PM2.5/BC ratio was also updated for diesel fuel to be more consistent with the values reported in other sectors. Black carbon emissions changed by +138% (+1.6 kt) for 2013 and +199% (+1.9 kt) for 2014.Complete
Off-Road TransportECCC aligns estimates of on- and off-road fuel use with fuel data in the RESD. This is now done on a provincial, rather than a national basis. The activity data have been updated to a more recent edition of the RESD.Emissions changed by -3.1 kt (-20%) in 2013 and by -2.8 kt (-19%) in 2014.Complete
Table 2-13: Summary of methodological changes or refinement for agriculture emissions
Sector/subsectorDescriptionImpact on emissionsSectoral coverage
Agriculture Fuel CombustionThe activity data have been updated to a more recent edition of the RESD .Emissions changed by less than ±10% in 2013 and 2014.Complete
Table 2-14: Summary of methodological changes or refinement for commercial / residential / institutional emissions
Sector/subsectorDescriptionImpact on emissionsSectoral coverage
Commercial and Institutional Fuel CombustionThe activity data have been updated to a more recent edition of the RESD.The recalculations resulted in changes in emission levels of less than ±10% in 2013 and 2014.Complete
Construction Fuel CombustionThe activity data have been updated to a more recent edition of the RESD.The recalculations resulted in changes in emission levels of less than ±10% in 2013 and 2014.Complete
Residential Fuel CombustionThe activity data have been updated to a more recent edition of the RESD.The recalculations resulted in changes in emission levels of less than ±10% in 2013 and 2014.Complete

2.10 Sources of uncertainty

One source of uncertainty with black carbon inventories is the inconsistencies between definitions and measurements of black carbon (Bond et al. 2013). Scientists use different methods to measure black carbon particle emissions at the source and in the atmosphere, and therefore measured quantities are not strictly comparable.

Although not quantified, uncertainty about black carbon estimates in this inventory is primarily driven by the uncertainty with the BC/ PM2.5 ratios. There is large variability in the size of measurement samples used to derive these ratios; the same ratios can be by default applied to several different technologies. An example of the limitation in available BC/ PM2.5 ratios is demonstrated with the application of the diesel BC/ PM2.5 ratio for aviation turbo fuel in jet aircrafts, as there is no available ratio specific to aviation turbo fuel. Similarly, a single BC/ PM2.5 ratio is applied to all residential wood combustion appliances except wood furnaces (Annex C, Table C-2). The refinement of BC/ PM2.5 ratios is expected to improve when new measurements become available.

The uncertainty is high in determining the proportion of PM2.5 emissions that arise from combustion emissions for industrial sources. The primary data source for estimating PM2.5 emissions from many industrial sources is the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), in which emissions are reported by facilities by stack or as one aggregate value for the facility as a whole and are not broken down between combustion and non-combustion emissions. Engineering knowledge was necessary to attribute a ratio to each sector, with varying degrees of accuracy.

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