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NITROUS OXIDE

Agriculture is the most important N2O emission source (Figure 2.3). N2O is emitted as a result of microbial processes in the soil. Substan-tial emissions also come from drainage water and coastal waters where nitrogen is converted to N2O through bacterial processes. However, the nitrogen converted in these processes originates mainly from the agricultural use of manure and fertilisers. The main reason for the drop in the emissions of approximately 25% from 1990 to 2004 is legislation to improve the utilisation of nitrogen in manure. The legislation has resulted in less nitrogen excreted per unit of livestock produced and a considerable reduction in the use of fertilisers. The basis for the N2O emission is then reduced. Approximately 10 % of the emisison of N2O comes from combustion of fossil fuels, and transport accounts for around 6%. The N2O emission from transport has increased during the nineties because of the increase in the use of catalyst cars. Emissions of N2O from nitric acid production amount to approximately 7 % of the total N2O emission.

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Henrik Bruun

01.11.2007


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