Atmospheric Emissions

2013
Chris P Nielsen and Mun S Ho. 2013. “Atmospheric Environment in China: Introduction and Research Review.” In Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals, Pp. 3-58. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A groundbreaking U.S.–Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards.

This book, a U.S.–Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Pollution, Climate, and Economic Goals
2013. Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Pollution, Climate, and Economic Goals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A groundbreaking U.S.–Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards.

This book, a U.S.–Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

Yu Zhao, Jie Zhang, and Chris P Nielsen. 2013. “The effects of recent control policies on trends in emissions of anthropogenic atmospheric pollutants and CO2 in China.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13, Pp. 487-508. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To examine the effects of China’s national policies of energy conservation and emission control during 2005–2010, inter-annual emission trends of gaseous pollutants, primary aerosols, and CO2 are estimated with a bottom-up framework. The control measures led to improved energy efficiency and/or increased penetration of emission control devices at power plants and other important industrial sources, yielding reduced emission factors for all evaluated species except NOx. The national emissions of anthropogenic SO2, CO, and total primary PM (particulate matter) in 2010 are estimated to have been 89%, 108%, and 87% of those in 2005, respectively, suggesting successful emission control of those species despite fast growth of the economy and energy consumption during the period. The emissions of NOx and CO2, however, are estimated to have increased by 47% and 43%, respectively, indicating that they remain largely determined by the growth of energy use, industrial production, and vehicle populations. Based on application of a Monte-Carlo framework, estimated uncertainties of SO2 and PM emissions increased from 2005 to 2010, resulting mainly from poorly understood average SO2 removal efficiency in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems in the power sector, and unclear changes in the penetration levels of dust collectors at industrial sources, respectively. While emission trends determined by bottom-up methods can be generally verified by observations from both ground stations and satellites, clear discrepancies exist for given regions and seasons, indicating a need for more accurate spatial and time distributions of emissions. Limitations of current emission control polices are analyzed based on the estimated emission trends. Compared with control of total PM, there are fewer gains in control of fine particles and carbonaceous aerosols, the PM components most responsible for damages to public health and effects on radiative forcing. A much faster decrease of alkaline base cations in primary PM than that of SO2 may have raised the acidification risks to ecosystems, indicating further control of acid precursors is required. Moreover, with relatively strict controls in developed urban areas, air pollution challenges have been expanding to less-developed neighboring regions. There is a great need in the future for multipollutant control strategies that combine recognition of diverse environmental impacts both in urban and rural areas with emission abatement of multiple species in concert. To examine the effects of China’s national policies of energy conservation and emission control during 2005–2010, inter-annual emission trends of gaseous pollutants, primary aerosols, and CO2 are estimated with a bottom-up framework. The control measures led to improved energy efficiency and/or increased penetration of emission control devices at power plants and other important industrial sources, yielding reduced emission factors for all evaluated species except NOx. The national emissions of anthropogenic SO2, CO, and total primary PM (particulate matter) in 2010 are estimated to have been 89%, 108%, and 87% of those in 2005, respectively, suggesting successful emission control of those species despite fast growth of the economy and energy consumption during the period. The emissions of NOx and CO2, however, are estimated to have increased by 47% and 43%, respectively, indicating that they remain largely determined by the growth of energy use, industrial production, and vehicle populations. Based on application of a Monte-Carlo framework, estimated uncertainties of SO2 and PM emissions increased from 2005 to 2010, resulting mainly from poorly understood average SO2 removal efficiency in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems in the power sector, and unclear changes in the penetration levels of dust collectors at industrial sources, respectively. While emission trends determined by bottom-up methods can be generally verified by observations from both ground stations and satellites, clear discrepancies exist for given regions and seasons, indicating a need for more accurate spatial and time distributions of emissions. Limitations of current emission control polices are analyzed based on the estimated emission trends. Compared with control of total PM, there are fewer gains in control of fine particles and carbonaceous aerosols, the PM components most responsible for damages to public health and effects on radiative forcing. A much faster decrease of alkaline base cations in primary PM than that of SO2 may have raised the acidification risks to ecosystems, indicating further control of acid precursors is required. Moreover, with relatively strict controls in developed urban areas, air pollution challenges have been expanding to less-developed neighboring regions. There is a great need in the future for multipollutant control strategies that combine recognition of diverse environmental impacts both in urban and rural areas with emission abatement of multiple species in concert.

Xi Lu, Michael B. McElroy, Chris P Nielsen, Xinyu Chen, and Junling Huang. 2013. “Optimal integration of offshore wind power for a steadier, environmentally friendlier, supply of electricity in China.” Energy Policy, 62, Pp. 131–138. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Demand for electricity in China is concentrated to a significant extent in its coastal provinces. Opportunities for production of electricity by on-shore wind facilities are greatest, however, in the north and west of the country. Using high resolution wind data derived from the GEOS-5 assimilation, this study shows that investments in off-shore wind facilities in these spatially separated regions (Bohai-Bay or BHB, Yangtze-River Delta or YRD, Pearl-River Delta or PRD) could make an important contribution to overall regional demand for electricity in coastal China. An optimization analysis indicates that hour-to-hour variability of outputs from a combined system can be minimized by investing 24% of the power capacity in BHB, 30% in YRD and 47% in PRD. The analysis suggests that about 28% of the overall off-shore wind potential could be deployed as base load power replacing coal-fired system with benefits not only in terms of reductions in CO2 emissions but also in terms of improvements in regional air quality. The interconnection of off-shore wind resources contemplated here could be facilitated by China's 12th-five-year plan to strengthen inter-connections between regional electric-power grids.

Yu Zhao. 2013. “Primary Air Pollutant Emissions of Coal-Fired Power Plants in China.” In Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals, Pp. 161-202. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A groundbreaking U.S.–Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards.

This book, a U.S.–Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

Yu Lei, Qiang Zhang, Chris P Nielsen, and Kebin He. 2013. “Primary Air Pollutants and CO2 Emissions from Cement Production in China.” In Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals, Pp. 203-224. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A groundbreaking U.S.–Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards.

This book, a U.S.–Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

Chris P Nielsen, Mun S Ho, Jing Cao, Yu Lei, Yuxuan Wang, and Yu Zhao. 2013. “Summary: Carbon Taxes for 2013-2020.” In Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals, Pp. 103-157. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A groundbreaking U.S.–Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards.

This book, a U.S.–Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

Chris P Nielsen, Mun S Ho, Yu Zhao, Yuxuan Wang, Yu Lei, and Jing Cao. 2013. “Summary: Sulfur Mandates and Carbon Taxes for 2006-2010.” In Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals, Pp. 59-102. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A groundbreaking U.S.–Chinese inquiry into the effects of recent air pollution controls and prospective carbon taxes on China's economy and environment.

China's carbon dioxide emissions now outstrip those of other countries and its domestic air quality is severely degraded, especially in urban areas. Its sheer size and its growing, fossil-fuel-powered economy mean that China's economic and environmental policy choices will have an outsized effect on the global environmental future. Over the last decade, China has pursued policies that target both fossil fuel use and atmospheric emissions, but these efforts have been substantially overwhelmed by the country's increasing energy demands. With a billion citizens still living on less than $4,000 per year, China's energy and environmental policies must be reconciled with the goals of maintaining economic growth and raising living standards.

This book, a U.S.–Chinese collaboration of experts from Harvard and Tsinghua University, offers a groundbreaking integrated analysis of China's economy, emissions, air quality, public health, and agriculture. It first offers essential scientific context and accessible summaries of the book's policy findings; it then provides the underlying scientific and economic research. These studies suggest that China's recent sulfur controls achieved enormous environmental health benefits at unexpectedly low costs. They also indicate that judicious implementation of carbon taxes could reduce not only China's carbon emissions but also its air pollution more comprehensively than current single-pollutant policies, all at little cost to economic growth.

2012
Xi Lu, Michael B. McElroy, Gang Wu, and Chris P Nielsen. 2012. “Accelerated reduction of SO2 emissions from the US power sector triggered by changing prices of natural gas.” Environmental Science and Technology, 46, 14, Pp. 7882-7889. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the U.S. power sector decreased by 24% in 2009 relative to 2008. The Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) approach was applied to isolate the factors responsible for this decrease. It is concluded that 15% of the decrease can be attributed to the drop in demand for electricity triggered by the economic recession, and 28% can be attributed to switching of fuel from coal to gas responding to the decrease in prices for the latter. The largest factor in the decrease, close to 57%, resulted from an overall decline in emissions per unit of power generated from coal. This is attributed in part to selective idling of older, less efficient coal plants that generally do not incorporate technology for sulfur removal, and in part to continued investments by the power sector in removal equipment in response to the requirements limiting emissions imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). The paper argues further that imposition of a modest tax on emissions of carbon would have ancillary benefits in terms of emissions of SO2.

Final Manuscript in DASH
This paper is from a series investigating and comparing the prospects for low- and non-carbon power generation in China and the U.S.

Yu Zhao, Chris P Nielsen, and Michael B. McElroy. 2012. “China's CO2 emissions estimated from the bottom up: Recent trends, spatial distributions, and quantification of uncertainties.” Atmospheric Environment, 59, Pp. 214-223. Publisher's VersionAbstract
China's emissions of anthropogenic CO2 are estimated using a bottom-up emission inventory framework based on a detailed categorization of economic sectors and provincial economic and energy data. It includes a newly compiled database of CO2 emission factors employing the latest field study results from China. Total annual emissions are estimated to have risen from 7126 to 9370 Mt CO2 from 2005 to 2009. Recent policies to conserve energy and reduce emissions have been effective in limiting CO2 emissions from power and iron & steel plants, but have had little effect on those from cement production. The uncertainties of China's CO2 emissions are quantified for the first time using Monte-Carlo simulation, producing a 95% confidence interval (CI) of −9% to +11% for total emissions in 2005. The largest contributors to sector-level emission uncertainty are emission factors for most industrial sources and activity levels for power plants, transportation, and residential & commercial sources. Application of province-level energy consumption and China-specific emission factors in some sectors results in higher annual emission estimates for 2005-2008 as compared with other studies, although most of those are within the 95% CIs of this study.
Yu Zhao, Chris P Nielsen, Michael B. McElroy, Lin Zhang, and Jie Zhang. 2012. “CO emissions in China: Uncertainties and implications of improved energy efficiency and emission control.” Atmospheric Environment, 49, Pp. 103-113. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A bottom-up methodology and an improved database of emission factors combining the latest domestic field measurements are developed to estimate the emissions of anthropogenic CO from China at national and provincial levels. The CO emission factors for major economic sectors declined to varying degrees from 2005 to 2009, attributed to improved energy efficiency and/or emission control regulations. Total national CO emissions are estimated at 173 Tg for 2005 and have been relatively stable for subsequent years, despite fast growth of energy consumption and industrial production. While industry and transportation sources dominated CO emissions in developed eastern and north-central China, residential combustion played a much greater role in the less developed western provinces. The uncertainties of national Chinese CO emissions are quantified using Monte Carlo simulation at −20% to +45% (95% confidence interval). Due to poor understanding of emission factors and activity levels for combustion of solid fuels, the largest uncertainties are found for emissions from the residential sector. The trends of bottom-up emissions compare reasonably to satellite observation of CO columns and to ground observations of CO2–CO correlation slopes. The increase in the ratio for emissions of CO2 relative to CO suggests that China has successfully improved combustion efficiencies across its economy in recent years, consistent with national policies to improve energy efficiency and to control criteria air pollutants.
Xi Lu, Jackson Salovaara, and Michael B. McElroy. 2012. “Implications of the recent reductions in natural gas prices for emissions of CO2 from the US power sector.” Environmental Science & Technology, 46, 5, Pp. 3014–3021. Publisher's VersionAbstract
CO2 emissions from the US power sector decreased by 8.76% in 2009 relative to 2008 contributing to a decrease over this period of 6.59% in overall US emissions of greenhouse gases. An econometric model, tuned to data reported for regional generation of US electricity, is used to diagnose factors responsible for the 2009 decrease. More than half of the reduction is attributed to a shift from generation of power using coal to gas driven by a recent decrease in gas prices in response to the increase in production from shale. An important result of the model is that, when the cost differential for generation using gas rather than coal falls below 2–3 cents/kWh, less efficient coal fired plants are displaced by more efficient natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) generation alternatives. Costs for generation using NGCC decreased by close to 4 cents/kWh in 2009 relative to 2008 ensuring that generation of electricity using gas was competitive with coal in 2009 in contrast to the situation in 2008 when gas prices were much higher. A modest price on carbon could contribute to additional switching from coal to gas with further savings in CO2 emissions.

Final Manuscript in DASH
This paper is from a series investigating and comparing the prospects for low- and non-carbon power generation in China and the U.S.; click here (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/02/model-situation/) to see coverage in the Harvard Gazette.

2011
Xi Lu, Michael B. McElroy, and Nora Sluzas. 2011. “Costs for integrating wind into the future ERCOT system with related costs for savings in CO2 emissions.” Environmental Science and Technology, 45, 7, Pp. 3160-3166. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Wind power can make an important contribution to the goal of reducing emissions of CO2. The major problem relates to the intrinsic variability of the source and the difficulty of reconciling the supply of electricity with demand particularly at high levels of wind penetration. This challenge is explored for the case of the ERCOT system in Texas. Demand for electricity in Texas is projected to increase by approximately 60% by 2030. Considering hourly load data reported for 2006, assuming that the pattern of demand in 2030 should be similar to 2006, and adopting as a business as usual (BAU) reference an assumption that the anticipated additional electricity should be supplied by a combination of coal and gas with prices, discounted to 2007 dollars of $2 and $6 per MMBTU respectively, we conclude that the bus-bar price for electricity would increase by about 1.1¢/kWh at a wind penetration level of 30%, by about 3.4 ¢/kWh at a penetration level of 80%. Corresponding costs for reductions in CO2 range from $20/ton to $60/ton. A number of possibilities are discussed that could contribute to a reduction in these costs including the impact of an expanded future fleet of electrically driven vehicles.

Final Manuscript in DASH
This is from a series of papers investigating and comparing the prospects for low- and non-carbon power generation in China and the U.S.

Yu Lei, Qiang Zhang, Chris P Nielsen, and Kebin He. 2011. “An inventory of primary air pollutants and CO2 emissions from cement production in China, 1990-2020.” Atmospheric Environment, 45, 1, Pp. 147-154. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Direct emissions of air pollutants from the cement industry in China were estimated by developing a technology-based methodology using information on the proportion of cement produced from different types of kilns and the emission standards for the Chinese cement industry. Historical emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were estimated for the years 1990–2008, and future emissions were projected up to 2020 based on current energy-related and emission control policies. Compared with the historical high (4.36 Tg of PM2.5, 7.16 Tg of PM10 and 10.44 Tg of TSP in 1997), PM emissions are predicted to drop substantially by 2020, despite the expected tripling of cement production. Certain other air pollutant emissions, such as CO and SO2, are also predicted to decrease with the progressive closure of shaft kilns. NOX emissions, however, could increase because of the promotion of precalciner kilns and the rapid increase of cement production. CO2 emissions from the cement industry account for approximately one eighth of China’s national CO2 emissions. Our analysis indicates that it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions from this industry by approximately 12.8% if advanced energy-related technologies are implemented. These technologies will bring co-benefits in reducing other air pollutants as well.
Yu Zhao, Michael B. McElroy, Jia Xing, Lei Duan, Chris P Nielsen, Yu Lei, and Jiming Hao. 2011. “Multiple effects and uncertainties of emission control policies in China: Public health, soil acidification, and global temperature.” Science of the Total Environment , 409, 24, Pp. 5177-5187. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Policies to control emissions of criteria pollutants in China may have conflicting impacts on public health, soil acidification, and climate. Two scenarios for 2020, a base case without anticipated control measures and a more realistic case including such controls, are evaluated to quantify the effects of the policies on emissions and resulting environmental outcomes. Large benefits to public health can be expected from the controls, attributed mainly to reduced emissions of primary PM and gaseous PM precursors, and thus lower ambient concentrations of PM2.5. Approximately 4% of all-cause mortality in the country can be avoided (95% confidence interval: 1–7%), particularly in eastern and north-central China, regions with large population densities and high levels of PM2.5. Surface ozone levels, however, are estimated to increase in parts of those regions, despite NOX reductions. This implies VOC-limited conditions. Even with significant reduction of SO2 and NOX emissions, the controls will not significantly mitigate risks of soil acidification, judged by the exceedance levels of critical load (CL). This is due to the decrease in primary PM emissions, with the consequent reduction in deposition of alkaline base cations. Compared to 2005, even larger CL exceedances are found for both scenarios in 2020, implying that PM control may negate any recovery from soil acidification due to SO2 reductions. Noting large uncertainties, current polices to control emissions of criteria pollutants in China will not reduce climate warming, since controlling SO2 emissions also reduces reflective secondary aerosols. Black carbon emission is an important source of uncertainty concerning the effects of Chinese control policies on global temperature change. Given these conflicts, greater consideration should be paid to reconciling varied environmental objectives, and emission control strategies should target not only criteria pollutants but also species such as VOCs and CO2.
Yu Lei, Qiang Zhang, Kebin He, and David G Streets. 2011. “Primary anthropogenic aerosol emission trends for China, 1990-2005.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, Pp. 931-954. Publisher's VersionAbstract
An inventory of anthropogenic primary aerosol
emissions in China was developed for 1990–2005 using a
technology-based approach. Taking into account changes
in the technology penetration within industry sectors and
improvements in emission controls driven by stricter emission
standards, a dynamic methodology was derived and implemented
to estimate inter-annual emission factors. Emission
factors of PM2.5 decreased by 7%–69% from 1990 to
2005 in different industry sectors of China, and emission factors
of TSP decreased by 18%–80% as well, with the measures
of controlling PM emissions implemented. As a result,
emissions of PM2.5 and TSP in 2005 were 11.0 Tg and
29.7 Tg, respectively, less than what they would have been
without the adoption of these measures. Emissions of PM2.5,
PM10 and TSP presented similar trends: they increased in
the first six years of 1990s and decreased until 2000, then
increased again in the following years. Emissions of TSP
peaked (35.5 Tg) in 1996, while the peak of PM10 (18.8 Tg)
and PM2.5 (12.7 Tg) emissions occurred in 2005. Although
various emission trends were identified across sectors, the cement
industry and biofuel combustion in the residential sector
were consistently the largest sources of PM2.5 emissions,
accounting for 53%–62% of emissions over the study period.
The non-metallic mineral product industry, including the cement,
lime and brick industries, accounted for 54%–63% of
national TSP emissions. There were no significant trends of
BC and OC emissions until 2000, but the increase after 2000
Correspondence to: K. B. He
(hekb@tsinghua.edu.cn)
brought the peaks of BC (1.51 Tg) and OC (3.19 Tg) emissions
in 2005. Although significant improvements in the estimation
of primary aerosols are presented here, there still
exist large uncertainties. More accurate and detailed activity
information and emission factors based on local tests are essential
to further improve emission estimates, this especially
being so for the brick and coke industries, as well as for coalburning
stoves and biofuel usage in the residential sector.
Yu Zhao, Chris P Nielsen, Yu Lei, Michael B. McElroy, and Jiming Hao. 2011. “Quantifying the uncertainties of a bottom-up emission inventory of anthropogenic atmospheric pollutants in China.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, Pp. 2295-2308. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The uncertainties of a national, bottom-up inventory
of Chinese emissions of anthropogenic SO2, NOx, and
particulate matter (PM) of different size classes and carbonaceous
species are comprehensively quantified, for the first
time, using Monte Carlo simulation. The inventory is structured
by seven dominant sectors: coal-fired electric power,
cement, iron and steel, other industry (boiler combustion),
other industry (non-combustion processes), transportation,
and residential. For each parameter related to emission factors
or activity-level calculations, the uncertainties, represented
as probability distributions, are either statistically fitted
using results of domestic field tests or, when these are
lacking, estimated based on foreign or other domestic data.
The uncertainties (i.e., 95% confidence intervals around the
central estimates) of Chinese emissions of SO2, NOx, total
PM, PM10, PM2.5, black carbon (BC), and organic carbon
(OC) in 2005 are estimated to be −14%13%, −13%37%,
−11%38%, −14%45%, −17%54%, −25%136%,
and −40%121%, respectively. Variations at activity levels
(e.g., energy consumption or industrial production) are
not the main source of emission uncertainties. Due to narrow
classification of source types, large sample sizes, and
relatively high data quality, the coal-fired power sector is estimated
to have the smallest emission uncertainties for all
species except BC and OC. Due to poorer source classifications
and a wider range of estimated emission factors,
considerable uncertainties of NOx and PM emissions from
cement production and boiler combustion in other industries
are found. The probability distributions of emission
factors for biomass burning, the largest source of BC and
OC, are fitted based on very limited domestic field measurements,
and special caution should thus be taken interpreting
these emission uncertainties. Although Monte Carlo simulation
yields narrowed estimates of uncertainties compared
to previous bottom-up emission studies, the results are not
always consistent with those derived from satellite observations.
The results thus represent an incremental research
advance; while the analysis provides current estimates of
uncertainty to researchers investigating Chinese and global
atmospheric transport and chemistry, it also identifies specific
needs in data collection and analysis to improve on
them. Strengthened quantification of emissions of the included
species and other, closely associated ones – notably
CO2, generated largely by the same processes and thus subject
to many of the same parameter uncertainties – is essential
not only for science but for the design of policies to redress
critical atmospheric environmental hazards at local, regional,
and global scales.
Yu Zhao, Lei Duan, Yu Lei, Jia Xing, Chris P Nielsen, and Jiming Hao. 2011. “Will PM control undermine China's efforts to reduce soil acidification?” Environmental Pollution, 159, 10, Pp. 2726-2732. Publisher's VersionAbstract
China’s strategies to control acidifying pollutants and particulate matter (PM) may be in conflict for soil acidification abatement. Acidifying pollutant emissions are estimated for 2005 and 2020 with anticipated control policies. PM emissions including base cations (BCs) are evaluated with two scenarios, a base case applying existing policy to 2020, and a control case including anticipated tightened measures. Depositions of sulfur (S), nitrogen (N) and BCs are simulated and their acidification risks are evaluated with critical load (CL). In 2005, the area exceeding CL covered 15.6% of mainland China, with total exceedance of 2.2 Mt S. These values decrease in the base scenario 2020, implying partial recovery from acidification. Under more realistic PM control, the respective estimates are 17.9% and 2.4 Mt S, indicating increased acidification risks due to abatement of acid-neutralizing BCs. China’s anthropogenic PM abatement will have potentially stronger chemical implications for acidification than developed countries.
2010
Jin-Tai Lin, Michael B. McElroy, and K. Folkert Boersma. 2010. “Constraint of anthropogenic NOx emissions in China from different sectors: A new methodology using separate satellite retrievals.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, 1, Pp. 63-78. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A new methodology is developed to constrain
Chinese anthropogenic emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx)
from four major sectors (industry, power plants, mobile and
residential) in July 2008. It combines tropospheric NO2 column
retrievals from GOME-2 and OMI, taking advantage
of their different passing time over China (10:00 a.m. LT
(local time) versus 02:00 p.m.) and consistent retrieval algorithms.
The approach is based on the difference of NOx
columns at the overpass times of the two instruments; it thus
is less susceptible to the likely systematic errors embedded
in individual retrievals that are consistent with each other.
Also, it explicitly accounts for diurnal variations and uncertainties
of NOx emissions for individual sources. Our best
top-down estimate suggests a national budget of 6.8 TgN/yr
(5.5 TgN/yr for East China), close to the a priori bottom-up
emission estimate from the INTEX-B mission for the year of
2006. The top-down emissions are lower than the a priori
near Beijing, in the northeastern provinces and along the east
coast; yet they exceed the a priori over many inland regions.
Systematic errors in satellite retrievals are estimated to lead
to underestimation of top-down emissions by at most 17%
(most likely 10%). Effects of other factors on the top-down
estimate are typically less than 15% each, including lightning,
soil emissions, mixing in planetary boundary layer, anthropogenic
emissions of carbon monoxide and volatile organic
compounds, magnitude of a priori emissions, assumptions
on emission diurnal variations, and uncertainties in the
four sectors. The a posteriori emission budget is 5.7 TgN/yr
for East China.
Yu Zhao, Shuxiao Wang, Chris P Nielsen, Xinghua Li, and Jiming Hao. 2010. “Establishment of a database of emission factors for atmospheric pollutant emissions from Chinese coal-fired power plants.” Atmospheric Environment, 44, 12, Pp. 1515-1523. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Field measurements and data investigations were conducted for developing an emission factor database for inventories of atmospheric pollutants from Chinese coal-fired power plants. Gaseous pollutants and particulate matter (PM) of different size fractions were measured using a gas analyzer and an electric low-pressure impactor (ELPI), respectively, for ten units in eight coal-fired power plants across the country. Combining results of field tests and literature surveys, emission factors with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by boiler type, fuel quality, and emission control devices using bootstrap and Monte Carlo simulations. The emission factor of uncontrolled SO2 from pulverized combustion (PC) boilers burning bituminous or anthracite coal was estimated to be 18.0S kg t−1 (i.e., 18.0 × the percentage sulfur content of coal, S) with a 95% CI of 17.2S–18.5S. NOX emission factors for pulverized-coal boilers ranged from 4.0 to 11.2 kg t−1, with uncertainties of 14–45% for different unit types. The emission factors of uncontrolled PM2.5, PM10, and total PM emitted by PC boilers were estimated to be 0.4A (where A is the percentage ash content of coal), 1.5A and 6.9A kg t−1, respectively, with 95% CIs of 0.3A–0.5A, 1.1A–1.9A and 5.8A–7.9A. The analogous PM values for emissions with electrostatic precipitator (ESP) controls were 0.032A (95% CI: 0.021A–0.046A), 0.065A (0.039A–0.092A) and 0.094A (0.0656A–0.132A) kg t−1, and 0.0147A (0.0092–0.0225A), 0.0210A (0.0129A–0.0317A), and 0.0231A (0.0142A–0.0348A) for those with both ESP and wet flue-gas desulfurization (wet-FGD). SO2 and NOX emission factors for Chinese power plants were smaller than those of U.S. EPA AP-42 database, due mainly to lower heating values of coals in China. PM emission factors for units with ESP, however, were generally larger than AP-42 values, because of poorer removal efficiencies of Chinese dust collectors. For units with advanced emission control technologies, more field measurements are needed to reduce emission factor uncertainties.

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