Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 931–954, 2011
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 931–954, 2011

Research article 02 Feb 2011

Research article | 02 Feb 2011

Primary anthropogenic aerosol emission trends for China, 1990–2005

Y. Lei1,2,3, Q. Zhang4, K. B. He1, and D. G. Streets5 Y. Lei et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Environmental Planning and Policy Simulation, Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, Beijing 100012, China
  • 3School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
  • 4Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • 5Decision and Information Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

Abstract. 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 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 coal-burning stoves and biofuel usage in the residential sector.

Final-revised paper