Carbon footprinting in the fertilizer industry as an essential part of managing climate change

Carbon footprinting within the fertilizer business as a necessary a part of managing local weather change

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The EU has the ambition to steer by instance in assembly the targets set within the Paris Settlement and to change into the primary climate-neutral continent by 2050. Carbon accounting is essential to advance these ambitions. A well-known enterprise aphorism explains it moderately properly: what will get measured will get managed. Whereas measuring GHG emissions alone can not save the planet, it’s undoubtedly a necessary a part of managing local weather change.

Worldwide Fertilizer Affiliation estimates that fertilizer business represents 2.5% of the worldwide GHG emissions, together with 1.5% associated to fertilizer use (IFA, 2016). The manufacturing of nitrogen fertilizers is characterised by excessive carbon-intensity because of its use of fossil fuels, primarily pure gasoline, as gas and feedstock, whereas GHG emissions associated to fertilizer use are primarily nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions as a result of soil results of fertilization.

Commissioned by Fertilizers Europe, the European mineral fertilizer producers’ affiliation, the Carbon Footprint Calculator was first developed in 2014 and serves as a instrument for assessing direct and oblique GHG emissions associated to the manufacturing of chosen fertilizer merchandise. It follows the “cradle to gate” strategy the place emissions related to all levels of the product life are taken into consideration, from the uncooked materials extraction, vitality provide, the manufacturing course of to the product storage on the manufacturing website[1]. The instrument is offered without cost at:

The instrument calculates GHG emissions for chosen fertilizers based mostly on manufacturing parameters for ammonia and nitric acid. These values can subsequently be utilized in calculating emission components required within the Life Cycle Evaluation (LCA) calculators for the merchandise within the broader agri-food chain, such because the Cool Farm Instrument.

The Carbon Footprint Calculator facilitates firms’ inner and exterior carbon accounting, e.g. for authorized or company social accountability (CSR) functions. Within the case of exterior reporting, an unbiased auditor is required to confirm the info used as enter within the calculator[1].

The power to evaluate and monitor emissions is essential to determine the best abatement methods, set the discount targets and talk the outcomes. It may be used to ascertain the price of carbon emissions related to merchandise, providers, and many others. in future carbon pricing mechanisms.

Primarily based on EU and different areas knowledge, the Carbon Footprint Calculator gives a comparability of the carbon footprint of ammonium nitrate (AN), calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), urea and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN with 30% nitrogen content material) produced within the EU and different areas, each by way of product tonnes and nitrogen tonnes. Importantly, urea’s carbon footprint contains CO2 that’s quickly saved within the product however emitted upon use.

The outcomes of the calculations made with the instrument point out that the EU business represents the least emission-intensive manufacturing (per tonne of product and nutrient) for all fertilizers offered, aside from urea produced in Oceania. The EU common carbon footprint is decrease than in different areas primarily as a result of greater common vitality effectivity of EU crops and GHG abatement know-how, primarily nitrous oxide abatement within the nitric acid installations. Coal-based fertilizer manufacturing in China has the very best carbon footprint worldwide due the excessive carbon-intensity of the gas and feedstock.

Main the worldwide fertilizer manufacturing in vitality effectivity and emission abatement applied sciences, the EU business developed instruments that permit companies and people to be higher knowledgeable on the fertilizer merchandise they produce, use or analysis. Primarily based on sturdy methodology and verified knowledge, the Carbon Footprint Calculator and the Cool Farm Instrument are uniquely geared up to calculate and mix the carbon footprint knowledge of fertilizers throughout completely different merchandise, uncooked supplies and areas, all through the entire life cycle.

[1] The small print of the Carbon Footprint Calculator and the calculations outcomes have been described based mostly on the paper Hoxha, A., & Christensen, B. (2018). The Carbon Footprint of Fertiliser Manufacturing: Regional Reference Values. Proceedings 805. Prague: Worldwide Fertiliser Society.

Article Printed on Fertilizer Focus Journal.

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