Emission Factors

In evaluating air quality levels in a geographical area, an environmental engineer must have accurate information on the quantity and characteristics of the emissions from numerous sources contributing pollutant emissions into the ambient air. One approach for identifying the types and estimating the quantities of emissions is to use emission factors. An emission factor is the average rate at which a pollutant is released into the atmosphere as a result of an activity, such as combustion or industrial production, divided by the level of that activity. Emission factors relate the types and quantities of pollutants emitted to an indicator such as production capacity, quantity of fuel burned, or miles traveled by an automobile.

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