Strengthening industrial VOCs emissions control in Hebei


VOCs control is a new challenge. This workshop meets our needs, enriches our knowledge and opens up new visions for future VOCs emissions control

A two-day training on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has enabled environmental protection officials in China’s Hebei Province to strengthen their capacity to control emissions from major industrial sources.

The training for more than 230 staff from 203 local environmental protection agencies in Hebei, conducted by Hebei’s Department of Environmental Protection, the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia from October 17-18 in Shijiazhuang, was focused on the pharmaceutical and chemical industries – two of the two main sources of VOCs emissions – providing local environmental protection departments with technical and decision-making support for more effective emissions control.

According to Ministry of Environmental Protection statistics, the first three quarters of 2016 saw a 5.2 percent increase in ozone (O3) concentration in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Concentrations of PM2.5 and O3 were 58 and 181 μg/m³ respectively.

Shanghai Academy of Environmental Science senior engineer Gangfeng Zhang, a workshop lecturer, said emissions of VOCs from anthropogenic sources in China were 2.5 times higher than the US, and in 2014, Hebei’s anthropogenic VOCs emissions ranked fifth nationally and were an enormous contributor to O3 pollution in summer and haze in winter.

The chemical and pharmaceutical industries are two of the major sources of VOCs emissions, according to the Hebei Major Industries VOCs Emission Control Program, which urges all cities to strengthen the supervision, regulation and investigation of VOCs emissions from major industries – an important aspect in local governments’ annual assessments.

East China University of Science and Technology Professor Guangli Xiu, another workshop lecturer, said different policies should be implemented based on the particular industrial structures in different fields.

“In 2013, 35 pharmaceutical companies across Hebei province released 24,561 tons of VOCs,” Prof Xiu said. “Because the pharmaceutical industry contributes to a large proportion of overall VOCs emissions in Hebei province, it is of great significance that we hold this workshop.”

“VOCs control is a new challenge,” said a workshop participant. “It’s hard for us to evaluate the treatment scheme proposed by companies. This workshop meets our needs, enriches our knowledge and opens up new visions for future VOCs emissions control.”

Clean Air Asia China Director Dr Fu Lu said that in order to help cities in China reduce VOCs emissions, Clean Air Asia had developed a training handbook in conjunction with experts that covered such areas as policy, management and techniques for target industries.

“We have also invited experts to deliver speeches during this seminar, hoping that this new form of training can help in a more practical way,” Dr Fu Lu said.

In addition, she said Clean Air Asia’s online platform All About Air provided support for urban VOCs emissions control and enabled environmental protection officials to learn about control experiences domestically and internationally, access training materials and raise questions with specialists from China and abroad.