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 VOC Vapour Emission Sources

Many VOCs are of natural origin while many owe their existence to anthropogenic activities.


Natural sources of VOCs include fauna, flora, oceans, wetlands, tundra’s and volcanoes.

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Of the anthropogenic sources of VOC emission, the major components originate from the refining, distribution, transportation and consumption of crude oil and gasoline. Anthropogenic sources of VOC emissions contributes according to the study "Emissions inventory for hydrocarbons in the United Kingdom" by K.A. Brice and R.G. Derwent, 1978, in the following manner:


  5% Vehicular emissions (aircrafts, railways,

         coastal and inland shipping)

45% Evaporative and driving emission from

         gasoline and diesel driven vehicles. More

         than 80% of this emission is from the exhaust

         of vehicles without catalysts

  2% Vehicle refueling

  5% Gasoline distribution

  3% Oil refining

23% Industrial and domestic solvents production, 

        distribution and usage

  2% Crude oil storage

15% Remaining industries including stationary

        combustion, general industry and solid waste


The handling and distribution of crude oil and gasoline is an obvious area for making an effort against VOC emission. It is large quantities handled in relatively few links, which is easy to control. It will therefore have a major influence on ground level ozone and thereby smog formation, if VOC emission from crude oil and gasoline distribution is being reduced.

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