B.5 Determination of the impact of industrial sources

In order to ensure the correct development of this action, assess and identify the industrial emissions contribution in AIRUSE target cities: Athens, Barcelona, Florence and Porto, 5 the following sub activities were planned:

  1. B.5.1. Definition of the study area (for each of the 4 cities)
  2. B.5.2 Identification of the industrial activities, considering those under Industrial Emissions Directive (IED; old IPPC) and those minor activities not under IED.
  3. B.5.3 Quantification of PM10 and PM2.5 contribution from channelled and diffuse emissions. Determination of industrial emissions profile.
  4. B.5.4 Establishment of the technological scenarios (level of BATs implemented) in each of the AIRUSE cities
  5. B.5.5 Development of a technical guide for industrial emissions reduction

Regarding the industrial emission sources, both channelled and diffuse emissions have been considered; the last ones are relevant, especially in industrial environments involving operations with bulk materials, such as, handling, transport and storage. On the other hand, diffuse emissions have not been studied in detail and have not drawn the same legislative attention as channelled emissions. This situation entails that PM estimated in regional/national inventories can be underestimated because the contribution of diffuse emissions is not considered.

Apart from industrial activities, we considered, within B.5, the emissions generated in harbour/port activities, mainly from bulk materials unloading, storage and transport. These activities are not industrial but the impact regarding PM emissions in coastal cities is of great relevance. Shipping emissions were NOT considered.

Other emissions not considered in the AIRUSE inventory are those from construction, demolition and street works; the reason is the high variability associated with these activities that affect its representativeness. However, considering that their contribution in air quality levels can be relevant, it has been include a compilation of best practices identified, for example, in the London City Air Quality Strategy (based in the Code of Practice for Construction and Deconstruction sites), and they will be included in the Technical Guide for Industrial Emission Reduction that ITC will developed within AIRUSE.

B5_report10     B5_report11   

Definition of the Area of study

Considering that air quality in big cities can be affected by sources (in this case industrial) located far away from the city, it has been defined that the area of study will cover and include all metropolitan area. Data from these areas is summarised in the following table.

Table 1. Metropolitan areas


Municipalities: 17

Area: 2040km2; Population: 1,8 Millions

Density: 880 hab/km2

Harbour: Leixões


Municipalities: 40 (2 Air Quality Zones)

Area: 725 km2  Population: 4 Millions

Density: 5500 hab/km2

Harbour: Port de Barcelona


Municipalities: 40

Area: 3808km2 ; Population: 3,8 Millions

Density: 1000 hab/km2

Harbour: Piraeus


Municipalities: 11

Area: 607 km2 ; Population: 0,78 Millions

Density: 1300 hab/km2


AIRUSE inventory – Industrial activities identification

In this process, the first step focused on identifying the information sources necessary to carry out the AIRUSE inventory. The information needed in this stage aims at identifying the number and type of industrial activities within the scope of AIRUSE. The methodology followed was:

• Review of the available information: regional industrial emissions inventories, Air Quality Strategies/Plans

• Check the content of the E-PRTR corresponding to each of the cities

• Review the content of the environmental permits in each industrial activity identified (if possible)

• Review technical articles and publications on the subject

The most relevant information comes from the competent bodies located in each target city and research groups experts in air quality studies, contacted by AIRUSE partners. The following table shows the results of this research:

B5 MT table 1

The nature of the industrial activities located in each city is very diverse, as we may find refineries, chemical industry, ceramics, cement plants, plastics, waste and waste water management plants, farms,… between all these cities. Florence is the lowest industrialised city, while the rest of the cities (all of them in the coast) present a similar industrial activity according to its size or population. Another important emission sector at the coastal cities is the port/harbour whose activities likely contribute to the urban background PM levels..

Relevant data (not detailed) from the industrial inventory in AIRUSE cities, currently under progress, is shown below.

B5 MT table 2



For each of the industrial activities identified in each target area, its atmospheric emissions and the best available techniques implemented have been studied in detail (where available, environmental permits have been of great help). Since the project is focused on PM emissions, special emphasis has been made on them not considering the presence of other gaseous pollutants.

Some results to be highlighted are:


1.Industrial activities inventory

The process of gathering information to identify industrial activities within each target area has demonstrated that this information is not of easy access and it has no public character, in all cases. Another issue is the not inclusion in the inventories of those minor activities that probably do not have a great impact but in number of facilities could be quite important.

This situation complicates the process of developing a robust industrial activities inventory and it will directly affect further AIRUSE PM emissions estimation. In this sense, it has been noted that the economical crisis has affected the number of facilities that are nowadays fully functioning, so all technical information available seems to be out of data. Therefore this aspect should be revised and corrected.


2. PM emissions inventories

Regarding the content of the current emissions inventories and concretely those referred to particulate emissions (PM), there is an evident lack of information about those parameters of high importance due to its impact on the environment and on human health. As an example, most PM emissions are expressed as PM10 but there is hardly any information about PM2.5.

On the other hand, the diffuse emissions are not fully considered in all cases, neither are there any considerations as if those emissions are related to internal transport activities. This situation entails a clear underestimation of PM in the inventories considered.


3. Technological scenarios (BATs)

In this context, it is remarkable that the competent bodies, in general, take into account the technical content of BREFs documents (BAT Reference Documents) when issuing environmental permits. It is necessary to reach a harmonised protocol regarding environmental requirements across European industries. But, currently we are far from this ideal situation and the common conclusion is that the content of environmental permits between similar industries (same manufacturing process), located in different European countries, differ from each other significantly; this situation entails different technological scenarios and different needs in order to reduce the impact from industrial sources.

In the case of small industrial activities (non-EID), it is really difficult, with the information available, to identify a proper BAT implementing rate. This value will deeply depend on the requirements established by the competent bodies so, in this case, the situation will be analysed city by city.


General considerations

Regarding to the lack of information about the PM emissions from industry, ITC consulted other cities, in Spain, not in the AIRUSE project, and the conclusions were similar. The first “mitigation measure”, to ensure the appropriateness of any strategies actions implemented to improve air quality in industrialised cities, should be the update of industrial inventories and extend the scope of these inventories to all type of industrial activities, adapting the requirements to the complexity of the activity.

During this gathering of information, it has been detected that the environmental information from industry and its treatment is completely different from one city to another. A detailed study about the management of this information will take place to detect any possible transfer of best practices between AIRUSE target cities. Moreover, a summary of these management best practices carried out in AIURSE cities can be highlighted to be implemented in other European cities with low expertise in this issue.