Aerosol precursors emissions

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Aerosol precursors

Human activities also emit other substances, including aerosols and aerosol precursors. Aerosol precursors are gaseous substances that, as a result of various physical or chemical reactions, may lead to the formation of aerosols.

Aerosol precursor emissions include:
  • sulphur dioxide (SO2), a combustion pollutant produced by the burning of any product containing sulphur, notably coal and oil;
  • to a lesser extent, nitrogen oxides (NOx).

EDF’s efforts in this area are in keeping with the limits set out in the EU’s National Emission Ceilings directive (NEC directive), which established emission ceilings effective from 2010 for the following pollutants in each member state: SO2, NOx, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and NH3 (ammonia).

EDF’s activities in mainland France and Corsica account for less than 5% of the national ceiling for NOx (2.4% or 810 kt) and SO2 (3.5% or 375 kt).

Acidification: SO2 emissions

Emissions due to electricity and heat generation (in g/kWh)

The drop in SO2 emissions is due to the reduction in coal-fired generation (down 46% at Group level, of which 82% for EDF Energy). The efficiency of desulphurisation systems also contributes to this decline. EDF Polska’s efforts in this area (installation of flue gas desulphurisation – FGD – plants in Krakow, Gdańsk and Gdynia) were responsible for a large part of the reduction observed in Poland.

Nitrification: NOX emissions

Emissions due to electricity and heat generation (in g/kWh)

The decline in NOx emissions reflects lower coal-fired generation at Group level, partly offset by the increase in gas-fired generation in France and Italy. The Group’s investments in improving the environmental performance of its plants also contributed to reducing emissions. In Poland, for example, the majority of EDF Polska’s boilers are now equipped with low NOx burners.