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Appendix: Derivation of fuel emission factors

A1. Importance of calorific value

Because the energy content of fuels may vary within and between fuel types, emission factors are commonly expressed in terms of energy units (eg, tonnes CO2/TJ). This generally provides more accurate emissions estimates than if emission factors are expressed in terms of mass or volume. Converting to emission factors expressed in terms of mass or volume (eg, kg CO2‑e/litre) requires an assumption around which default calorific value should be used.

It is therefore useful to show how the per activity unit (eg, kg CO2-e/litre) emission factors have been derived, and which calorific values have been used. It is important to note that if you are able to obtain fuel use information in energy units, or know the specific calorific value of the fuel which you are using, then you can calculate your emissions more accurately. All calorific values are sourced from the New Zealand Energy Data File 2008.

Note that gross calorific values have been used.

A2. CH4 and N2O emission factors used in this guide

As stated above, although CO2 emissions remain constant regardless of the way in which a fuel is combusted, CH4 and N2O emissions depend on the precise nature of the activity in which the fuel is being combusted. The emission factors for CH4 and N2O therefore vary depending on the combustion process. Table 12 shows the default CH4 and N2O emission factors (expressed in terms of energy units) which have been used in this guide. The calculations below show how these have been converted to per activity unit (eg, kg CO2-e/kg) emission factors. All emission factors contained in Table 12 are sourced from the Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions publication. This publication contains further CH4 and N2O emission factors for a range of other users (eg, residential).

Note that gross emission factors have been used.

A3. Oxidation factors used in this guide

All oxidation factors contained in Table 12 are sourced from New Zealand’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990–2006. Oxidation factors have been applied only to the CO2 emission factors (and therefore by default to the CO2-e emission factors) and have not been applied to the CH4 and N2O emission factors. This approach is consistent to that adopted by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

A4. Reference data

Table 12: Underlying data used to derive the per activity unit emission factors – 2007

Emission Source User Unit Calorific Value Oxidation Factor T CO2/TJ (After Oxidation) T CH4/TJ T N2O/TJ

Stationary Combustion

Distributed Natural Gas

Commercial

KWh

NA

0.995

53.3

0.00108

0.00207

GJ

NA

0.995

53.3

0.00108

0.00207

Coal – Bituminous

Commercial

Kg

28.84

0.98

87.0

0.0095

0.00133

Coal – Sub-bituminous

Commercial

Kg

22.35

0.98

89.4

0.0095

0.00133

Coal – Lignite

Commercial

Kg

15.85

0.98

93.3

0.0095

0.00133

Coal – Default

Commercial

Kg

22.35

0.98

89.4

0.0095

0.00133

Diesel

Commercial

Litre

38.27

0.99

68.7

0.00067

0.00038

LPG

Commercial

Kg

49.51

0.99

59.8

0.00105

0.00057

Heavy Fuel Oil

Commercial

Litre

40.93

0.99

72.9

0.00133

0.000285

Light Fuel Oil

Commercial

Litre

40.65

0.99

72.1

0.00133

0.000285

Distributed Natural Gas

Industry

KWh

NA

0.995

53.3

0.00126

0.00009

GJ

NA

0.995

53.3

0.00126

0.00009

Coal – Bituminous

Industry

Kg

28.84

0.98

87.0

0.000665

0.00152

Coal – Sub-bituminous

Industry

Kg

22.35

0.98

89.4

0.000665

0.00152

Coal – Lignite

Industry

Kg

15.85

0.98

93.3

0.000665

0.00152

Coal – Default

Industry

Kg

22.35

0.98

89.4

0.000665

0.00152

Diesel

Industry

Litre

38.27

0.99

68.7

0.00019

0.00038

LPG

Industry

Kg

49.51

0.99

59.8

0.00105

0.00057

Heavy Fuel Oil

Industry

Litre

40.93

0.99

72.9

0.00285

0.000285

Light Fuel Oil

Industry

Litre

40.65

0.99

72.1

0.0019

0.00038

Wood

Industry

Kg

12.08

1.00

104.2

0.0143

0.0038

Wood

Fireplaces*

Kg

12.08

1.00

104.2

0.285

0.0038

Transport Fuels

Regular Petrol

Mobile use

Litre

34.87

0.99

65.69

0.0185

0.00143

Premium Petrol

Mobile use

Litre

35.24

0.99

66.11

0.0185

0.00143

Petrol – Default

Mobile use

Litre

34.94

0.99

65.77

0.0185

0.00143

Diesel

Mobile use

Litre

38.27

0.99

68.69

0.0038

0.00371

LPG

Mobile use

Litre

26.54

0.99

59.80

0.0285

0.00057

Table 13 contains the GWPs for CO2, CH4 and N2O that have been used in converting to CO2-equivalent emission factors.

Table 13: Global Warming Potentials for CO2, CH4 and N2O

  CO2 CH4 N2O
Global Warming Potential

1

21

310

A5. Example derivation of emission factors:

The sub-bituminous coal emission factors for commercial use are derived as follows:

CO2 emission factor (kg CO2/kg)
= [(Calorific value*TCO2 per TJ emission factor)*
= (22.35*89.4)/1000
= 1.998 kg CO2/kg

CH4 emission factor (kg CO2-e/kg)
= [(Calorific value*TCH4 per TJ emission factor)*GWP of CH4]/1000
= [(22.35*0.0095)*21]/1000
= 0.00446 kg CO2-e/kg

N2O emission factor (kg CO2-e/kg)
= [(Calorific value*TN2O per TJ emission factor)*GWP of N2O]/1000
= [(22.35*0.00133)*310]/1000
= 0.00921 kg CO2-e/kg

Total CO2-e emission factor (kg CO2-e/kg)
= Sum of CO2, CH4 and N2O emission factors
= 2.01 CO2-e/kg

Note that if you knew that the calorific value of your coal was different to the default calorific value used in the above calculation, you could substitute your specific calorific value and obtain a more accurate (specific) emission factor.

* 2007 emission factors for CO2 from the New Zealand Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990–2007 are given as the value after oxidation. In 2006 this report gave CO2 emission factors before oxidation, and therefore oxidation factors were applied to the 2006 values. This step was not required to calculate CO2 emission factors (kg CO2/kg) for 2007.