2. Atmospheric Air

2.1 Introduction

 

2.2 Pollution load

2.2.1 Emissions of main pollutants in Estonia

2.2.2 Main pollution sources

2.2.3 Emissions of pollutants in transport

 

2.3 Climate change
2.3.1 Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in Estonia
2.3.2 Implementation of the goal of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol

2.4 Acidification

2.5 Ozone layer protection

2.6 Heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants 
2.6.1 Heavy metal pollution precipitating through the air 
2.6.2 Emissions of heavy metals 
2.6.3 Persistent organic pollutants

 

 

2.2. Pollution load


2.2.1. Emissions of main pollutants in Estonia


In 1999 emissions from stationary sources in Estonia were: 94.6 thousand tons of sulphur dioxide; 14.5 thousand tons of nitrogen dioxide; 20.9 thousand tons of carbon oxide and 5 thousand tons of volatile organic compounds (table 2.1).

 

Table 2.1. Distribution of emissions from stationary sources in 1999 by counties (tons).

 

Photo 2.1. Biggest point-polluters of air in Estonia are large power plants.

 


2.2.2. Main pollution sources

Main polluters emitting SO2 and solid particles - 87.9% and 94.5% correspondingly - were companies of energetics, heat production and oil shale chemistry in Ida-Virumaa County (tables 2.2, 2.3 and figures 2.2, 2.3). Percentage of emissions of solid particles from Kunda-Nordic Tsement Ltd in 1999 was only 0.7%, due to the renovation of dust filters in recent years. Other pollution sources are small boiler houses, companies of construction materials and wood processing. The figure 2.4 shows distribution of Estonian air polluting companies by branch of industry. Emissions of sulphur dioxide per person were, according to data of the year 1998, the highest in Ida-Virumaa County and formed average of 69.6 kg in Estonia (1996 - 79.8 kg). Other countries: Sweden - 8.8; Finland - 20.5; Germany - 18.8; Latvia - 23.7; Lithuania - 25.1; only Czech Republic had higher figure, 91.7 (data of 1996). Figures 2.5-2.9, which show distribution of emission of pollutants by regions, confirm that the highest pollution load is in Ida-Virumaa.

Table and Figure 2.2. Main companies, polluting air with solid particles (th. t).

Table and Figure 2.3. Main companies, polluting air with SO2 (th. t).

 

Figure 2.4. Distribution of Estonian air polluting companies by branch of industry and SO2 emissions per person.


Figures 2.5-2.9. Distribution of emissions from stationary sources in 1999 by regions.

Main companies in Estonia, polluting air with volatile organic pollutants, are: oil shale chemistry industry, furniture and fish industry and oil terminals (table 2.4, figure 2.10). Figure 2.10 shows distribution of emissions of volatile organic pollutants by branches of economy in 1998. Emissions from fuel combustion have been accounted according to Estonian energy balance given in regulation "Procedure and Methods for Determining Emissions of pollutants from combustion plants into ambient air".

Main companies polluting air with carbon oxide are given in table 2.5 and figure 2.11. Most of CO is emitted from small boiler houses, which use mainly shale oil, coal, peat, wood and wood waste, whereby the greatest part of CO is produced from peat and wood.

Reduction of SO2 amounts emitted into air by 6.2 tons compared to the year 1998 is connected mainly with the decrease of the amount of oil shale burnt in the Baltic Power Station by 14.8%. At the same time emissions of SO2 and solid particles increased in Ida-Virumaa, as production of electric energy increased and calculation methodology changed in the Estonian Power Station and untreated generator gas is currently being burnt in the boiler of Viru Keemia Group Ltd.

Table 2.4. Main companies polluting air with volatile organic pollutants (th. t).

Figure 2.10. Distribution of emissions of volatile organic pollutants by branches of economy in 1998.

Table 2.5. Main companies polluting air with carbon oxide (th. t).


Figure 2.11. Main companies polluting air with carbon oxide

 


2.2.3. Emissions of pollutants in transport

Great part of Estonian environmental problems is arising from transport. Table 2.6 shows corresponding calculated emissions. Due to the increase of the number of cars, trucks and special vehicles emissions have also increased in 1992-1998 (figure 2.12). Only the emission of lead decreased in the mentioned period. Percentage of lead-containing petrol was 10% in 1998. Most of SO2 is emitted from stationary pollution sources, at the same time, when volatile organic compounds, NOx and CO are emitted mainly from transport (figure 2.13).


Table 2.6. Emissions from transport, th. tons per year.


Figure 2.12. Emissions from transport and rolling vehicle stock 1992-1998.


Figure 2.13. Distribution of emissions between transport and stationary pollution sources in 1998.

 

Photo 2.2. Cars pollute the air in Estonia much more than stationary pollution sources.