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Biomass emissions projected to fall in UK

Government forecasting drop in particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions from both domestic and power generation biomass in 2015

Emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides from both domestic biomass combustion and biomass energy facilities are expected to fall slightly in 2015 from 2012 levels, the government has said.

The 2015 projections were revealed after written questions about the level of air pollution from biomass combustion in the UK were lodged in parliament by Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, Graham Stringer.

Energy at biomass plants is generated though the burning of wood pellets, although the NAEI figures also account for domestic wood-burning stoves

Energy at biomass plants is generated though the burning of wood pellets, although the NAEI figures also account for domestic wood-burning stoves

Responding yesterday (May 8), Defra minister Dan Rogerson presented figures for 2012 and forecasts for 2015 showing that biomass emissions and their share of the UK’s overall national emissions are expected to decrease by 2015.

According to Mr Rogerson, the figures from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) estimate that in 2012 emissions from domestic biomass combustion and their proportion of national emissions were: PM10 – 10.9 thousand tonnes and 9.6%; PM2.5 – 10.6 thousand tonnes and 13.7%; nitrogen oxides – 0.96 thousand tonnes and 0.09%.

In comparison these figures are expected to fall by 2015: PM10 – 10.1 thousand tonnes and 8.0%; PM2.5 – 7.2 thousand tonnes and 9.8%; nitrogen oxides – 0.97 thousand tonnes and 0.087%.

And, according to the presented figures, the emissions from power generation and their share of national total emissions in 2012 are estimated to have been: PM10 – 0.65 thousand tonnes and 0.57%; PM2.5 – 0.55 thousand tonnes and 0.72%; nitrogen oxides – 4.2 thousand tonnes and 0.4%.

Meanwhile these figures are also expected to drop by 2015: PM10 – 0.022 thousand tonnes and 0.017%; PM2.5 – 0.011 thousand tonnes and 0.015%; nitrogen oxides – 1.5 thousand tonnes and 0.13%.

Manchester-based campaign group the Breathe Clean Air Group (BCAG) has been campaigning strongly against biomass power station on the grounds that uch facilities worsen air quality.

Last year, the group sent out hundreds of emails to the Department for Energy and Climate Change to highlight the perceived health dangers associated with wood burning biomass plants (see airqualitynews.com story).

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