High-resolution simulation of link-level vehicle emissions and concentrations for air pollutants in a traffic-populated eastern Asian city
Abstract. Vehicle emissions containing air pollutants created substantial environmental impacts on air quality for many traffic-populated cities in eastern Asia. A high-resolution emission inventory is a useful tool compared with traditional tools (e.g. registration data-based approach) to accurately evaluate real-world traffic dynamics and their environmental burden. In this study, Macau, one of the most populated cities in the world, is selected to demonstrate a high-resolution simulation of vehicular emissions and their contribution to air pollutant concentrations by coupling multimodels. First, traffic volumes by vehicle category on 47 typical roads were investigated during weekdays in 2010 and further applied in a networking demand simulation with the TransCAD model to establish hourly profiles of link-level vehicle counts. Local vehicle driving speed and vehicle age distribution data were also collected in Macau. Second, based on a localized vehicle emission model (e.g. the emission factor model for the Beijing vehicle fleet – Macau, EMBEV–Macau), this study established a link-based vehicle emission inventory in Macau with high resolution meshed in a temporal and spatial framework. Furthermore, we employed the AERMOD (AMS/EPA Regulatory Model) model to map concentrations of CO and primary PM2.5 contributed by local vehicle emissions during weekdays in November 2010. This study has discerned the strong impact of traffic flow dynamics on the temporal and spatial patterns of vehicle emissions, such as a geographic discrepancy of spatial allocation up to 26 % between THC and PM2.5 emissions owing to spatially heterogeneous vehicle-use intensity between motorcycles and diesel fleets. We also identified that the estimated CO2 emissions from gasoline vehicles agreed well with the statistical fuel consumption in Macau. Therefore, this paper provides a case study and a solid framework for developing high-resolution environment assessment tools for other vehicle-populated cities in eastern Asia.