1.B.1 - Solid Fuels

Short description

Category Code Method AD EF
1.B.1.a T2, M AS CS
1.B.1.b T2, T3 AS CS
Key Category NOx NMVOC SO2 NH3 PM2.5 PM10 TSP BC CO Pb Cd Hg PCDD/F PAHs HCB
1.B.1.a NA -/- NA NA -/- -/- -/- NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
1.B.1.b -/- -/- -/- -/- -/- -/- L/T -/- -/- NA NA -/- -/- -/T NA


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Method(s) applied
D Default
T1 Tier 1 / Simple Methodology *
T2 Tier 2*
T3 Tier 3 / Detailed Methodology *
CS Country Specific
M Model
* as described in the EMEP/EEA Emission Inventory Guidebook - 2019, in category chapters.
(source for) Activity Data
NS National Statistics
RS Regional Statistics
IS International Statistics
PS Plant Specific
As Associations, business organisations
Q specific Questionnaires (or surveys)
M Model / Modelled
C Confidential
(source for) Emission Factors
D Default (EMEP Guidebook)
CS Country Specific
PS Plant Specific
M Model / Modelled
C Confidential


The source category Solid fuels (1.B.1) consists of two sub-source subcategories – the source subcategory Coal mining (1.B.1.a) and the source subcategory Coal transformation (1.B.1.b). This chapter discusses fugitive emissions from coal mining, coal handling, including door leakages from coke ovens and quenching (emissions from the furnace are covered by category 1.A.1.c), and emissions from the beneficiation of solid fuels. In the mining sector, a distinction is made between open-pit mines, in which raw materials are extracted from pits open to the surface, and closed-pit mines, in which seams are mined underground. In Germany, hard coal used to be mined in closed-pits only (until 2018), while lignite is mined in four coal fields since 2003 with the open-pit method only.

Unitil 2018 Germany produced significant amounts of hard coal in underground mines. Since 2019, hard coal has been imported exclusively. NMVOC emissions are considered insignificant as the coal outgased along the import route. Particle emissions from loading and unloading as well as storage are reported under 2.L(a) - Handling of Bulk Products


Lignite production

Activity data for lignite production have been taken from the Statistik der Kohlenwirtschaft’s website (in German only) 1). Extracted coal is moved directly to processing and to power stations.

The emission factors used for calculating emissions from lignite production (TSP, PM10 and PM2.5) already include possible emissions from transport and storage. The PM10 factor is taken from a 2021 research project 2). TSP and PM2.5 have been reduced the same way on the basis of the previous values3).

Table 1: Annual amounts of extracted raw lignite, in [Mt]

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2022
357 193 168 178 169 178 107 131

Table 2: Emission factors applied for lignite extraction, in [kg/t]

Pollutant Value
TSP 0.03
PM10 0.015
PM2.5 0.002

Lignite coke production

Table 3: Annual amounts of lignite coke produced, in [Mt]

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2022
3.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1

Emissions from lignite production other than listed below are reported by plant operator. Particle emission factors were verified in a research project (Emissionen und Maßnahmenanalyse Feinstaub 2000-2020) 4) .

Table 4: Emission factors applied for lignite-coke production

Pollutant Unit Value
TSP kg/t 0.1
PM10 kg/t 0.048
PM2.5 kg/t 0.013
PAH mg/t 55
PCDD/F µg/t 0.03

Hard coal coke production

The activity rates for hard coal coke production have been taken from the Statistik der Kohlenwirtschafts’s website (in German only) 5).

Table 5: Annual amounts of hard coal coke produced, in [Mt]

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2022
18.5 11.1 9.1 8.4 8.2 8.8 7.9 8.3

The emission factors for hard coal coke production have been obtained from the research project “Emission factors for the iron and steel industry, for purposes of emissions reporting” (“Emissionsfaktoren zur Eisen- und Stahlindustrie für die Emissionsberichterstattung”) 6).

Table 6: Emission factors for hard coal coke production

Pollutant Unit Value
CO kg/t 0.015
NH3 kg/t 0.000243
NMVOC kg/t 0.096
SO2 kg/t 0.004
TSP kg/t 0.011
PM10 kg/t 0.004
PM2.5 kg/t 0.004
PAH mg/t 55
PCDD/F µg/t 0.0015

There are many potential sources of PAH emissions from coking plants. The dominant emission sources are leakages from coke oven doors and from charging operations. As there is limited data available on PAH emissions, the uncertainties of the estimated emission factors are very high. It should also be taken into account that emissions from coke production greatly vary between different coke production plants. The emission factors for benzo[a]pyrene and mixed PAH have been revised by research projects in 2010 7)8). Split factors for Black Carbon (BC) are based on the EMEP Guidebook 2016 9).

Decommissioned hard-coal mines

NMVOC Emissions from decommissioned hard-coal mines play a role in this sub- source category. When a hard-coal mine is decommissioned, mine gas can escape from neighbouring rock, and from coal remaining in the mine, into the mine's network of shafts and passageways. Since the mine is no longer artificially ventilated, the mine gas collects and can then reach the surface via gas pathways in the overlying rock or via the mine's own shafts and passageways. Such mine gas was long seen primarily as a negative environmental factor. Recently, increasing attention has been given to the gas' positive characteristics as a fuel (due to its high methane content, it is used for energy recovery). In the past, use of mine gas was rarely cost-effective. This situation changed fundamentally in 2000 with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). Although mine gas is a fossil fuel in finite supply, its use supports climate protection, and thus the gas was included in the EEG. The Act requires network operators to accept, and provide specified compensation for, electricity generated with mine gas and fed into the grid.

The NMVOC emissions from decommissioned hard-coal mines have been calculated in the research project “Potential for release and utilisation of mine gas” (“Potential zur Freisetzung und Verwertung von Grubengas”) 10). The relevant calculations were carried out for all mining-relevant deposits in Germany.

Table 7: NMVOC emission factor for decommissioned hard-coal mines, in [kg/m13]



For more details please refer to the super-ordinate chapter 1.B - Fugitive Emissions from fossil fuels

Planned improvements

No further improvements are planned.


1) Statistik der Kohlenwirtschaft (2019) External Link (last pageview: March 2021)
2) Dokumentation zur Berechnung des PM10-Austrags aus dem Tagebau Hambach im Jahr 2013 und Ableitung eines Emissionsfaktors (2021) External Link (last pageview: March 2023)
3) Co-ordinated European Programme on Particulate Matter Emission Inventories, Projections and Guidance (CEPMEIP) External Link
4) Federal Environment Agency research project No. 204 42 202/2 “Emissionen und Maßnahmenanalyse Feinstaub 2000-2020”, published in 2007 External Link
6) Hensmann et al. 2011
7) Federal Environment Agency and DFIU research project “Anpassung der deutschen Methodik zur rechnerischen Emissionsermittlung an internationale Richtlinien, Teilbericht Prioritäre Quellen”, 2010 (not available online)
8) Federal Environment Agency and BFI research project No. 3707 42 301 “Emissionsfaktoren zur Eisen- und Stahlindustrie für die Emissionsberichterstattung“, 2011 External Link
9) EMEP/EEA Air Pollutant Emission Inventory Guidebook 2016; published in 2016 External Link (last pageview: Dec 2016)
10) Meiners, H. (2014): Potential zur Freisetzung und Verwertung von Grubengas