2.D.3.d - Coating Application

Last updated on 02 Jun 2020 15:13 (cf. Authors)

Short Description

NFR-Code Name of Category Method AD EF Key Category 1
2.D.3.d Coating Application T2 NS CS L & T: NMVOC

This source category comprises NMVOC emissions from the use of solvent-based products of three major sub-categories: Decorative coating applications, industrial coating applications and other non-industrial paint application
The following product groups are taken into consideration:
i) Decorative coating applications:

  • Application of paints and lacquers in Car repairing
  • Professional application of paints and lacquers for Construction and Building (emulsion paints for indoor application; silicate exterior paints; synthetic resin plasters / silicate; varnishes; primers and protection coatings; other coatings)
  • Do-it-yourself application of paints and lacquers for Building (emulsion paints for indoor application; silicate exterior paints; synthetic resin plasters / silicate; varnishes; primers and protection coatings; other coatings)
  • Application of paints and lacquers for Wood surfaces (wooden interiors, carpentry)

ii) Industrial coating applications

  • Application of paints and lacquers for Manufacture of cars (primers, fillers, top coat / clear lacquers)
  • Application of paints and lacquers for Car Repairing of commercial vehicles
  • Application of paints and lacquers for Coil Coating
  • Application of paints and lacquers for Boat Building
  • Application of paints and lacquers for Wood surfaces (furniture)
  • Other industrial paint application (such as paint spray, electrical appliances, mechanical engineering, automotive accessories, metal goods, wire enamel, synthetic materials, paper/foil)

iii) Other non-industrial paint application (marking paints, corrosion protection, other)

‘NMVOC’ is defined in keeping with the VOC definition found in the EC solvents directive. For purposes of the definition of solvents, the term ‘solvent use’ is also defined in keeping with the EC solvents directive. 


General procedure

NMVOC emissions are calculated in keeping with a product-consumption-oriented approach.
In this approach, solvent-based products or solvents are allocated to the source category, and then the relevant NMVOC emissions are calculated from those solvent quantities via specific emission factors. Thus, the use of this method is possible with the following valid input figures for each product group:

  • Quantities of VOC-containing (pre-) products and agents used in the report year,
  • The VOC concentrations in these products (substances and preparations),
  • The relevant application and emission conditions (or the resulting specific emission factor).

The quantity of the solvent-based (pre-)product corresponds to the domestic consumption which is the sum of domestic production plus import minus export.

NMVOC Emission = domestic consumption of a certain product * solvent content * specific emission factor

The calculated NMVOC emissions of different product groups for a source category are then aggregated.
The product / substance quantities used are determined at the product-group level with the help of production and foreign-trade statistics. Where possible, the so-determined domestic-consumption quantities are then further verified via cross-checking with industry statistics.

Specific information

An emission factor of 95% was allocated to all open applications (e. g. all decorative coating applications). For installation-related industrial applications specific emission factors were assessed and applied.

Discussion of emission trends

General Information

Since 1990, so the data, NMVOC emissions from use of solvents and solvent-containing products in general have decreased by nearly 38%. The main emissions reductions have been achieved in the years since 1999. This successful reduction has occurred especially as a result of regulatory provisions such as the 31st Ordinance on the execution of the Federal Immissions Control Act (Ordinance on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain facilities – 31. BImSchV), the 2nd such ordinance (Ordinance on the limitation of emissions of highly volatile halogenated organic compounds – 2. BImSchV) and the TA Luft.

Specific information

Since 1990, data of source category 2.D.3.d are recorded. Since 2000, a more detailed data collection procedure enables to follow the development of different applications, which altogether account for a bit more than 1/3 of total NMVOC emissions from solvent-based products (Figures 1-2).

For category 2D3d coating applications, there is a significant dip in the time series in 1994 that may relate to an over-estimation for the years until 1994. This difference between 1993 and 1994 has to be mainly linked to the enhancement of the emission calculation method as from 1996. Since then national production and foreign trade statistics has been used for the calculation of product and solvent consumption instead of expert judgements. However, a recalculation could only be done backwards to the year 1994 due to the unavailability of production and foreign trade statistics in the necessary differentiation before (German reunification).

Figure 1: Development of NMVOC emissions of category 2.D.3.d since 1990.

A clear decrease in the NMVOC emissions in 2.D.3d can be observed for recent years. Table 1 lists seven applications that caused major emissions in category 2.D.3d and their developments:
Major emissions from … 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2014 2016 2017
Wooden furniture 100% 165% 152% 144% 115% 135% 129% 127% 114% 117% 118%
Mechanical engineering 100% 104% 92% 84% 67% 78% 74% 77% 56% 62% 71%
Varnishes DIY 100% 77% 68% 62% 39% 38% 39% 38% 40% 40% 41%
Varnishes professional 100% 66% 57% 51% 31% 29% 30% 30% 31% 31% 32%
Wooden interiors 100% 22% 20% 19% 15% 16% 16% 13% 16% 16% 16%
Manufacture of cars 100% 60% 55% 50% 44% 53% 52% 51% 46% 46% 50%
Corrosion protection 100% 138% 126% 115% 88% 100% 100% 97% 84% 91% 95%

Table 1: List of product groups and applications that primarily contributed to emissions of category 2.D.3.d in 2005 and its relative development compared to 2005.

After the reunification of East and West Germany, the paints and coating application industries had economically good years. The emissions from 1990 to 1993 stayed on a high level. After 1993, this economic hype ended. In consequence, also the emissions declined.
A major reason for the decrease of overall emissions in this source category is the fulfillment of the Decopaint-Directive according to maximum solvent contents. The German "Blauer Engel" ("Blue Angel") environmental quality seal supported this development by certifying a range of products, including low-solvent paints and lacquers.


Relative Uncertainties for emissions for each product were obtained by error propagation and refer to the 95% confidence interval.

Domestic Consumption: For all values based on the official statistics, a relative uncertainty of ±10% for lacquers and of ±15% for thinners was applied.
Solvent content: For each product, a relative error at ±15% for lacquers was applied, but not exceeding 100% or falling below 0%.
Emission factors: For each product, a relative error at ±15% was applied, but not exceeding 100% or falling below 0%.
Hence the overall uncertainty of emissions caused by application of products of this source group is at least 40%.


Data for the last year were re-calculated based on the final foreign trade statistics but did not show any significant change.

For more information on recalculated emission estimates for Base Year and 2017, please see the pollutant-specific recalculation tables following chapter 8.1 - Recalculations.

Planned improvements

At the moment, no category-specific improvements are planned.

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