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Volume 16, No. 12, December 2016, Pages 3290-3301 PDF(3.67 MB)  Supplementary MaterialPDFPDF (1.55 MB)
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.07.0324   

Emission Characteristics and Control Prospects of Primary PM2.5 from Fossil Fuel Power Plants in China

Yan Wang1,2, Ke Cheng2, He-Zhong Tian3, Peng Yi4, Zhi-Gang Xue4

1 Laboratory of Environmental Pollutants and Health Effects Assessment, School of Public Health, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang 453003, China
2 Henan Key Laboratory for Environmental Pollution Control, Key Laboratory for Yellow River and Huai River Water Environment and Pollution Control, Ministry of Education, School of Environment, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang 453007, China
3 State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation & Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
4 State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China


  • An emission inventory of PM2.5 from fossil fuel power plants was established.
  • The “unit-based” methodology was applied to make the emission estimation.
  • Chemical composition of primary PM2.5 were demonstrated.
  • Future trends of primary PM2.5 emissions till 2030 were projected.
  • Monte Carlo simulations were applied to quantify the uncertainties.



In this study, a unit-based approach was used to establish an integrated emission inventory of primary PM2.5 from fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas) power plants in China. The inventory was of high spatial and temporal resolution, and composed of detailed chemical speciation. In 2014, the total emissions were estimated to be approximately 669.53 kt. The emissions of primary PM2.5 from coal-fired power plants (CFPs) were 668.56 kt, making CFPs the largest contributor. The emissions of primary PM2.5 from oil-fired power plants (OFPs) and natural gas-fired power plants (GFPs) were approximately 17.41 t and 945.60 t, respectively. Spatial distribution features demonstrated that the emissions in the eastern and central provinces of China were much higher than those in the west, except for provinces involved in the “west-to-east power transmission” project. For CFPs, crustal elements and water-soluble inorganic ions were the primary species of PM2.5. By contrast, for OFPs and GFPs, carbonaceous components were the predominant species of PM2.5. Moreover, this study conducted a scenario analysis of changes in PM2.5 emissions resulting from technical advancement, penetration, and substitution of CFPs by GFPs for the target years.



Keywords: PM2.5 emission; Unit-based approach; Chemical composition; Scenario projection.



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