6. Solvent And Other Product Use (NFR sector 3)

Last updated on 04 Dec 2014 08:38 (cf. Authors)

Visual overview

Chart showing emission trends for main pollutants in NFR 3 - Solvent And Other Product Use:

Click to enlarge.

Short description

This source category comprises emissions from the use of chemical products. Currently, the source category includes information on solvent emissions from applications in industry, trade and commerce and households.
Source category 3, "Solvents and other product use", is divided into the sub-source categories

  • "Painting and lacquering" (3.A),
  • "Degreasing", "Dry cleaning" (3.B),
  • "Production and use of chemical products" (3.C) and
  • "Other" (3.D).

In the CSE, "Other" (3.D) includes the above-detailed other solvent uses that cannot be allocated to source categories 3.A through 3.C, emissions from selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems and from the use of Fireworks, Charcoal and Cigarettes. .

NFR-code Name of Category Pollutants Method AD EF Key Source for (by)
3.A Painting and lacquering
3.A.1 Decorative coating application NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.A.2 Industrial coating application NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.A.3 Other coating application NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.B Degreasing, Dry cleaning
3.B.1 Degreasing NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.B.2 Dry cleaning NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.C Chemical products NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.D Other uses
3.D.1 Printing NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.D.2 Domestic solvent use including fungicides NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.D.3 Other solvent uses NMVOC T2 NS CS NMVOC (L/T)
3.D.3 Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) NH3 T2 Q CS -
3.D.3 Fireworks, Charcoal, Cigarettes TSP, PM10, PM2.5 T2 NS CS TSP & PM10 (L); PM2.5 (L/T)

The NMVOC emissions released through use of solvents and solvent-containing products all belong to sub-categories of this source category. The four reporting categories vary widely in structure. To take account of this variation, inventory data were calculated in keeping with the UNECE/EMEP sub-structures based on the CORINAIR97 (CORINAIR: COordination d’ INformation Environmentale; sub-project AIR) SNAP system.
Category 3.D "other" includes the following applications and activities:

  • Treatment of glass and rock wool
  • Printing industry (printing applications)
  • Extraction of oils and fats
  • Use of glues and adhesives
  • Use of wood preservatives
  • Undersealing and wax treatments for automobiles
  • Household use of solvents (not including paints and lacquers)
  • Automobile-wax stripping
  • Manufacturing of pharmaceutical products
  • Household use of pharmaceutical products
  • Other

"NMVOC" is defined in keeping with the VOC definition found in the EC solvents directive. For purposes of the definition of solvents, the term "solvent use" is also defined in keeping with the EC solvents directive .
Some volatile organic compounds are used both as solvents and as chemical reactants – for example, toluene, which is used as a solvent in lacquers and glues and as a reactant for production of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and methyl ethyl ketone (butanone), which is used as a solvent in printing inks and as a base material for synthesis of methyl ethyl ketone peroxide. VOC (either substances or fractions of substances or products) in uses as chemical reaction components are not included in this source category.
Delimitation of this source category as outlined above takes a highly diverse range of emissions-causing processes into account. The factors considered with regard to such processes include:

  • Concentrations and volatility of VOC used. The relevant spectrum includes use of volatile individual substances as solvents – for example, in cleaning; use of products with solvent mixtures – for example, in paints and lacquers; and applications in which only small parts of mixtures used (also) have solvent properties (as is the case, for example, in polystyrene-foam production).
  • The great differences in emissions conditions.
  • Solvent uses can be open to the environment – as is the case in use of cosmetics – or largely closed to the environment – as in extraction of essential oils or cleaning in chemical dry-cleaning systems.


Solvent use

NMVOC emissions are calculated in keeping with a product-consumption-oriented approach. In this approach, the NMVOC input quantities allocated to these source categories, via solvents or solvent-containing products, are determined and then the relevant NMVOC emissions (for each source category) are calculated from those quantities via specific emission factors. This method is explicitly listed, under "consumption-based emissions estimating", as one of two methods that are to be used for emissions calculation for this source category.
Use of this method is possible only with valid input figures – differentiated by source categories – in the following areas:

  • Quantities of VOC-containing (pre-) products and agents used in the report year,
  • The VOC concentrations in these products (substances and preparations),
  • The relevant application and emission conditions (or the resulting specific emission factor).

To take account of the highly diverse structures throughout the sub-categories 3.A – 3.D, these input figures are determined on the level of 37 differentiated source categories (in a manner similar to that used for CORINAIR SNAP Level 3), and the calculated NMVOC emissions are then aggregated. The product / substance quantities used are determined at the product-group level with the help of production and foreign-trade statistics. Where possible, the so-determined domestic-consumption quantities are then further verified via cross-checking with industry statistics.

The values used for the average VOC concentrations of the input substances, and the emission factors used, are based on experts' assessments (expert opinions and industry dialog) relative to the various source categories and source-category areas. Not all of the necessary basic statistical data required for calculation of NMVOC emissions for the most current relevant year are available in final form; as a result, the data determined for the previous year are used as an initial basis for a forecast for the current report. The forecast for NMVOC emissions from solvent use for the relevant most current year is calculated on the basis of specific activity trends. As soon as the relevant basic statistical data are available for the relevant most current year, in their final form, the inventory data for NMVOC emissions from solvent use will be recalculated.

Since 1990, so the data, NMVOC emissions from use of solvents and solvent-containing products have decreased by nearly 38%. The main emissions reductions have been achieved in the years since 1999. This successful reduction has occurred especially as a result of regulatory provisions such as the 31st Ordinance on the execution of the Federal Immissions Control Act (Ordinance on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain facilities – 31. BImSchV), the 2nd such ordinance (Ordinance on the limitation of emissions of highly volatile halogenated organic compounds – 2. BImSchV) and the TA Luft. The German "Blauer Engel" ("Blue Angel") environmental quality seal, which is used to certify a range of products, including low-solvent paints, lacquers and glues, has also played an important role in this development. After the reunification of east and west germany the paints and coating application industries had economically good years. The emissions from 1990 to 1993 stayed on a high level. After 1993 this economic hype ended. In consequence also the emissions declined.

While product sales increased in some areas – even over periods of several years – thereby adding to emissions, the above-described measures offset this trend. These successes, which have occurred especially in recent years, are reflected in the updated emissions calculations – which, thanks to methods optimisation, now feature greater differentiation of VOC concentrations and emission factors.

Cigarettes, Charcoal and Fireworks

Germany reports the emissions from TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 of the explosion of fireworks, the use of Charcoal at barbecues and the smoking of cigarettes. The emission factor is country specific and was developed in a research for the UBA (2002) [1]. For the activity data the population of Germany is used.


As every year, estimated AD for the last year of the previous submission was replaced by statistical data.


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1. UBA, 2002: Modellierung von Feinstaubemissionen in Europa: Ein Ansatz zur Schätzung des Minderungspotentials und der Minderungskosten; UBA; Berlin; 2002; URL: http://www.umweltdaten.de/publikationen/fpdf-l/2279.pdf
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