Greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant from Industrial Processes.

Trends in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant from the industrial processes and product use sector have been balanced since 1990. More information on emission trends from the industrial processes and product use sector in Slovakia.

Total emissions

Expressed in GWP from IPCC AR5 as of 01/15/2024

Technological processes of raw materials and products generate greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector. The most important gas in the industry is CO2, with a 90% share, followed by so-called technical gases, referred to as F-gases (hydrogen or perfluorocarbons and sulphur fluoride - SF6). This sector covers greenhouse gas emissions from technological processes that create raw materials or products directly. With a share of 23% in 2021, it is the second largest contributor to the total greenhouse gas emissions after energy sector. These are mainly technological emissions (not the combustion of fuels in production as in the energy sector) from the processing of mineral products, chemical production and metal production. Reducing emissions from technological processes is costly, and this reduction is technically limited. Therefore, no significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in this sector compared to the 1990 reference year occurred.

NOx emissions have been relatively stable in the Industry sector for a long time. A long-term but moderate decline with fluctuations is noted for NMVOC emissions. A slight decrease is recorded in SOx emissions, although compared to the energy sector, this decrease is minimal. This is also why, since 2019, the metalworking industry has been their biggest contributor. A decrease was recorded in PM2.5 emissions, even though the industry sector contributes only to a small extent to these emissions. Until 2001, a significant decrease in lead emissions was recorded in this sector, but from this year on, metal production became the largest contributor to total emissions, overtaking emissions in the energy sector. In terms of cadmium emissions, there was a steady decrease in this sector after long-term fluctuations. Mercury emissions have been relatively stable over the last decade. Industrial production is also a significant contributor to PAHs emissions, namely metal production with a 46% share. Metal production is also the most significant source of PCB emissions (90%). Fluctuations in the volume of emissions also occur due to fluctuations in the production volumes of individual commodities.


Trends in emissions by individual types

Trends in greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions from the industrial processes sector by individual types of production have been balanced since 1990. More information on emission trends from the industrial processes sector and the use of products by individual types of production in Slovakia.

Emissions by category

Expressed in GWP from IPCC AR5 as of 01/15/2024

Category 2.A: Manufacture of mineral products:

From the production of mineral products in Slovakia are represented e.g. cement production (CRH Slovakia; Považská cementáreň, a.s.; CEMMAC, a.s.), lime production (Calmit, spol. s r.o; DOLVAP, s.r.o; Carmeuse Slovakia, s.r.o), glass production (Johns Manville Slovakia, a.s.; RONA, a.s.; VETROPACK NEMŠOVÁ, s.r.o; R-GLASS Trade, s.r.o), mining, and others. The construction and demolition of buildings and roads is also included in this category.

During the industrial production of mineral products, solid pollutants are released into the air due to the handling of materials, their storage and transport. Other substances are released into the air mainly in connection with the production itself. Emissions of heavy metals and POPs are associated with glass production and cement production.

Only CO2 emissions, which were at the level of 2 335 Gg in 2021, are reported in this category. Cement production has the largest share (62%), followed by lime production (23%) and magnesite production (11%). Compared to 1990, there has been a decrease in CO2 emissions in this category of approximately 14%.

From pollutant emissions, only solid pollutants PM2.5, PM10 and TSP are reported in this category, but they are not among their most significant contributors. Emissions have a long-term downward trend thanks to stricter legislation and the introduction of separation technologies.

Category 2.B: Chemical production:

Chemical production also has a long-term history in the Slovak industry, e.g. production of urea, nitric acid, mineral fertilizers (Duslo, a. s.) and various other chemical substances (FORTISCHEM, a. s.). The category is not one of the most significant sources of air pollutants.

Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 were at the level of 1 585 Gg CO2 eq., which is an increase of 5% compared to the previous year, due to increase production volumes. The largest source of CO2 emissions (48.5%) is the production of ammonia, the production of nitric acid is a major source of N2O emissions.

Nitric acid production consumes approximately 20% of all ammonia produced. The production volume in 2020 was practically the same as in 2019, however, a decrease in N2O emissions of approximately 16% was recorded due to the use of secondary YARA catalysts.

Category 2.C: Metal production:

An important industrial activity is the production of metals, specifically the production of iron and steel (US Steel Košice, a.s.; ZTS Metalurg, a.s.; Železiarne Podbrezová a.s.), but also metallurgical secondary production and processing of metals (US Steel Košice, a.s.; ZTS Metalurg, a.s.; Železiarne Podbrezová a.s.; KOVOHUTY, a.s.), or aluminium production (Slovalco, a.s.).

The main source of air pollutants, heavy metals and POPs is the production of iron and steel. Copper and aluminium production also make a significant contribution to these emissions. Despite the introduction of more modern technologies, these resources are still among the main emitters of lead. The production of metals releases significant amounts of emissions of dioxins and furans, the control and mitigation of which is very difficult and expensive.

The total amount of emissions in this category in 2021 was at the level of 4 792 Gg CO2 eq. Due to the increase volume of steel production, emissions in this category increased by 33% compared to the previous year. Compared to 1990, the volume of production is higher, but introducing production that is more efficient, decreased emissions by 2%. Decommissioning of one of the three blast furnaces in US Steel, a.s. in June 2019, also contributed to reducing emissions under this category. The furnace started up again at the beginning of 2021, which caused increasing of emissions.

Category 2.D: Use of solvents:

The use of solvents is a significant source of emissions. A wide range of substances is used in industry as well as in households, including non-methane volatile organic compounds, which give rise to NMVOC emissions. These are, for example, pure organic solvents or various mixtures used in industry, cleaning agents, paints, thinners, adhesives, cosmetics and toiletries, various household or car care products. This also includes emissions from road asphalting. The versatile use of these substances leads to more complex monitoring of their flows. These categories are estimated (especially emissions from substances for domestic use).

NMVOC emissions in industry have been significantly reduced in the past and at the same time, the solvent content of household products in retail has been regulated. In the long run, these changes are reflected in a decrease in NMVOC emissions into the air. The solvent use category is a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions. Its balancing, similarly to NMVOC emissions, is greatly complicated by the lack of statistics in this area, as well as the complex chemistry of individual gases in the atmosphere, where hydrocarbons decompose and react with each other or with other components and under the influence of photochemical radiation. Therefore, CO2 emissions in this category are balanced based on stoichiometry from NMVOC emissions.

Emissions of heavy metals and POPs are mainly due to the use of lubricants in two- and four-stroke engines. These emissions are balanced in the transport category.

Category 2.F Use of F-gases:

Production volumes have a major impact on emissions in this area. HFCs and SF6 are the fastest growing emissions in this sector, as a result of industrial demand for these substances in the construction, building insulation, electrical and automotive industries.