Quality Assurance Quality Control

It is good practice to conduct quality control checks as outlined in Volume 1, Chapter 6. More extensive quality control checks and quality assurance procedures are applicable if higher tier methods are used to determine emissions. Inventory compilers are encouraged to use higher tier QA/QC for key categories as identified in Volume 1, Chapter 4.

Comparison of emissions estimates using different approaches

If emissions are calculated using data from individual nitric acid plants (bottom-up approach), inventory compilers should compare the estimate to emissions calculated using national production data (top-down approach). They should record the results and investigate any unexplained discrepancies.

Since industrial N2O source categories are relatively small compared to other anthropogenic and natural sources, it is not feasible to compare emissions with measured trends in atmospheric N2O concentrations.

Plant-level data

Inventory compilers should archive sufficient information to allow an independent review of the time series of emissions beginning in the base year, and to explain trends in emissions when making historical comparisons. This is particularly important in cases where recalculations are necessary, for example, when an inventory compiler changes from using default values to actual values determined at the plant level.

Revision of direct emission measurements

If plant-level N2O measurements are available, inventory compilers should confirm that internationally recognised, standard methods were used. If the measurement practices fail this criterion, then they should evaluate the use of these emissions data. In addition, they should reconsider the uncertainty estimates in light of the QA/QC results.

Inventory compilers should compare plant-based factors to the IPCC defaults to ensure that the plant-specific factors are reasonable. They should explain and document any differences between plant-specific factors and default factors, particularly any differences in plant characteristics that might lead to these differences.

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