The TOP10 pollutants and their causer
The 10 pollutants that cause the main releases into the environment (air, water, land, waste water) are our “TOP10 pollutants”. Figure 8 shows the main originating sectors that had large releases in 2014.
The main originator for Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) was the energy sector, here the Thermal power stations and other combustion plants >50MW.
Chlorides (total amount of releases to air, water, land and waste water) were released from the mineral industry and the chemical industry in similar quantities. The release into land had the largest share with relevant amounts inserted into the ground (injection). Chlorides also stemmed from Waste and wastewater management facilities headed by urban WWTPs.
The Metal industry was the main polluter of Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and Sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions stemmed mainly from the energy sector. The mineral industry, especially coal mining, was the main polluter of Methane (CH4) emissions followed by landfills.
Total organic carbon (TOC) was mainly released from the chemical industry, followed by food industry and Waste and wastewater management (mainly WWTPs). TOC covers the release into water plus amounts transferred with waste water. WWTPs released the largest amounts of Total nitrogen.
The sector “Other industries” released the largest amounts of Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC). This included facilities which use solvents for surface treatment (e.g. paint application facilities). Intensive farming was the main polluter of Ammonia emissions (NH3).