Choice of emission factors

The emissions from composting, and anaerobic digestion in biogas facilities, will depend on factors such as type of waste composted, amount and type of supporting material (such as wood chips and peat) used, temperature, moisture content and aeration during the process.

Table 4.1 gives default factors for CH4 and N2O emissions from biological treatment for Tier 1 method.

Table 4.1

Default emission factors for CH4 and N2O emissions from biological treatment of waste

Type of biological treatment

CH4 Emission Factors (g CH4/kg waste treated)

N2O Emission Factors (g N2O/kg waste treated)


on a dry weight basis

on a wet weight basis

on a dry weight basis

on a wet weight basis


(0.08 - 20)

(0.03 - 8)

0.6 (0.2 - 1.6)

0.3 (0.06 - 0.6)

Assumptions on the waste treated: 25-50% DOC in dry matter, 2% N in dry matter, moisture content 60%. The emission factors for dry waste are estimated from those for wet waste assuming a moisture content of 60% in wet waste.

Anaerobic digestion at biogas facilities

(0 - 20)

(0 - 8)

Assumed negligible

Assumed negligible

Sources: Arnold, M.(2005) Personal communication; Beck-Friis (2002); Detzel et al. (2003); Petersen et al. 1998; Hellebrand 1998; Hogg, D. (2002); Vesterinen (1996).

Emission from MB treatment can be estimated using the default values in Table 4.1 for the biological treatment. Emissions during mechanical operations can be assumed negligible.

In Tier 2, the emissions factors should be based on representative measurements that cover relevant biological treatment options applied in the country. In Tier 3, emission factors would be based on facility/site-specific measurements (on-line or periodic).

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