Ammonia emissions from non-agricultural sources in the UK

Sutton, Mark; Dragosits, Ulrike; Tang, Yuk; Fowler, David. 2000 Ammonia emissions from non-agricultural sources in the UK. Atmospheric Environment, 34 (6). 855-869.

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detailed literature review has been undertaken of the magnitude of non-agricultural sources of ammonia (NH3) in the United Kingdom. Key elements of the work included estimation of nitrogen (N) excreted by different sources (birds, animals, babies, human sweat), review of miscellaneous combustion sources, as well as identification of industrial sources and use of NH3 as a solvent. Overall the total non-agricultural emission of NH3 from the UK in 1996 is estimated here as 54 (27–106) kt NH3–N yr−1, although this includes 11 (6–23) kt yr−1 from agriculture related sources (sewage sludge spreading, biomass burning and agro-industry). Compared with previous estimates for 1990, component source magnitudes have changed both because of revised average emissions per source unit (emission factors) and changes in the source activity between 1990 and 1996. Sources with larger average emission factors than before include horses, wild animals and sea bird colonies, industry, sugar beet processing, household products and non-agricultural fertilizer use, with the last three sources being included for the first time. Sources with smaller emission factors than before include: land spreading of sewage sludge, direct human emissions (sweat, breath, smoking, infants), pets (cats and dogs) and fertilizer manufacture. Between 1990 and 1996 source activities increased for sewage spreading (due to reduced dumping at sea) and transport (due to increased use of catalytic converters), but decreased for coal combustion. Combined with the current UK estimates of agricultural NH3 emissions of 229 kt N yr −1 (1996), total UK NH3 emissions are estimated at 283 kt N yr −1. Allowing for an import of reduced nitrogen (NHx) of 30 kt N yr−1 and deposition of 230 kt N yr−1, these figures imply an export of 83 kt NH3–N yr −1. Although export is larger than previously estimated, due to the larger contribution of non-agricultural NH3 emissions, it is still insufficient to balance the UK budget, for which around 150 kt NH3–N are estimated to be exported. The shortfall in the budget is, nevertheless, well within the range of uncertainty of the total emissions

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Atmospheric Sciences
ISSN: 1352-2310
Additional Keywords: Ammonia, Emission inventory, Atmospheric budget, Sewage, Wild animals, Transport, Industry
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 03 Sep 2008 10:39 +0 (UTC)

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