Organic Gases and Vapor - Emissions and Pollutions 1991

Statistical Base


In order to provide a differentiated assessment of the causes of the hydrocarbon load in the air and to contribute to their elimination, emission data bases are kept for the main polluter groups industry, traffic and domestic heating.

The data for the emission data base industry have been taken from the emission declarations of the large individual emitters (power, heating power and heating plants as well as industrial plants) which according to the regulations of the Federal Air Pollution Control Law must be submitted to the Pollution Control Agency by their operators every two years. For the eastern part of Berlin, the data from the former GDR Environmental Protection Agency were used.

The emission data base traffic is based on the traffic survey from the traffic administration as well as the inventory of motor vehicles and their average road performance. The emission is calculated with the help of elements, which are determined for different vehicle classes. Distinctions are made between passenger cars and delivery vehicles with four-stroke engines, with and without exhaust fume cleaning, with two-stroke or diesel motors as well as heavy transport vehicle and busses.

The benzene component of hydrocarbon emissions for all motor vehicles is to assumed to lie at 6 %.

The emission data base domestic heating for the multitude of small heating systems in the urban area is laid out statistically. The heating requirements and the proportion of the heating types, e.g. coal ovens, central oil-fired heating, gas heating, electric and district heating in the built-up space has been determined for all residential units. Using specific factors from the heating types, the emissions for each individual housing block are determined. Where electric and district heating are used to satisfy heating requirements, these are discounted if the heat is produced by facilities subject to licensing.

All assessment and calculations are adjusted with the energy balance in which the entire consumption of fuels in Berlin is compiled.

The other households emissions of organic gases were estimated and distributed according to the population density of the urban area with the help of statements about the consumption of solvents, cleaners, paints and varnishes in Berlin.

Calculated Pollution

The pollution calculations have been undertaken separately for large individual emitters and the polluter groups traffic and domestic heating with the help of a computer-supported meteorological expansion model (cf. Fath et al. 1991).

For the dispersion calculations, the domestic heating and traffic emissions are distributed evenly over grid sections by 500 × 500 meters. Certain emission levels are attributed to them, while the large individual emitters are registered in the calculations according to their respective chimney location and the chimney elevation.

For the calculations is assumed that the pollutant particles contained in the trails of smoke are transported and expand vertically with the wind to the mean transport direction vertically and horizontally in the form of a normal distribution. At that altitude, it can only disperse in this way until a temperature inversion prevents further expansion. In the calculations, wind direction, wind speed, turbulent dispersion capacity of the atmosphere and the inversion altitude are included. In addition, it has been taken into account that the heating requirements and thus also the pollutant emissions rise substantially in the winter with decreasing temperature.

Since the model calculations assume an unhindered expansion of the pollutants and because the domestic heating and traffic emissions are generally assigned to grid sections of 500 × 500 meters, the calculation results represent measuring positions which are ordered in greater distance (more than 20 m) from pollutant sources, particularly streets. The pollutant concentration is calculated for about 100 sampling points, which are distributed throughout the entire urban area.

Measured Pollution

In 1991, pollution measurements for hydrocarbons at twelve measuring positions, from which eleven at locations of stations of the Berlin Air Quality Monitoring Network (BLUME) lay (cf. Map 03.08.9), were carried out in Berlin (cf. TÜV Berlin-Brandenburg 1992). Among other things the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene, toluene and xylene as well as all of the aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons from hexane to naphtalin, calculated as octane, were determined by sampling. 104 measurements, each for material and place, were taken evenly distributed throughout the year.

The tests were made on workdays between 6 and 18 o’clock. The air was sucked 15 minutes long through activated charcoal pipettes. The content was analyzed in the lab using gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. To achieve the highest degree of comparability among the random sample results, all measuring positions were always examined and tested on the same day.

Six measuring positions lay in the west part and six in the east part of the city. A measuring point was laid out in the Grunewald distanced from emittents. Three measuring points lay in direct vicinity of the street, and of course on the city expressway in Charlottenburg, at the Karl-Marx-Strasse in Neukölln and at the intersection of Frankfurter Allee/ Warschauer Strasse in the borough of Friedrichshain. The other measuring points represent the air burden in residential areas.

In the stations in West Berlin (except that in Grunewald) the proportion of benzene concentration in the measured sum of the hydrocarbons lay at 6.5 % (+/-0.3), in the stations in East Berlin at 5.3 % (+/-0.3). The clear difference can be traced to the fact that the very high hydrocarbon emission in East Berlin from the widely-spread two-stroke motor vehicles has a smaller benzene component than that from the four-stroke motor vehicles in West Berlin.

Detailed investigations by the Federal Public Health Agency as to the spectrum of the hydrocarbons in the air suggest that in each of the random samples of hydrocarbons amounts respectively more than 80 % of the hydrocarbons contained in the air have been recorded (cf. Lahmann 1980).