Planet – Organic emissions
Declining trend in organic emissions confirmed
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 chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector’s VOC emissions decreased drastically since 2001 thanks to good housekeeping, process optimisation, and improved emission control during storage and transport. The industry continued to invest in vapour recovery systems to further reduce or eliminate VOC emissions through dedicated emission treatment (with re-use of combustion heat), advanced fugitive emission detection and leakage repairs. As a result, the sector’s specific VOC emissions have fallen by more than 60% over the last decade. For the last three years, absolute VOC emissions in the sector have remained below 10 ktonnes per year.