Sources and Emissions of Air Pollutants in Beijing (AIRPOLL-Beijing)

Lead Research Organisation: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Department Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects

Abstract

Beijing suffers from very high concentrations of airborne pollutants, leading to adverse health and wellbeing for over twenty million people. The pollutants likely to have the greatest effects upon human health are particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. Both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide are emitted directly from individual sources (primary contributions, many of which are not well quantified); and are formed in the atmosphere (secondary contributions, which are highly complex). Ozone is entirely secondary in nature, formed from reactions of precursor gases, whose sources and abundance are also challenging to constrain. These uncertainties hinder understanding of the causes of air pollution in Beijing, which is needed to deliver effective and efficient strategies for pollution reduction and health improvement.

AIRPOLL-Beijing project will address this challenge, through identification and quantification of the sources and emissions of air pollutants in Beijing. The project sits within the NERC/MRC-NSFC China megacity programme, which includes projects addressing the atmospheric processes affecting air pollutants, human exposure and health effects, and solutions / mitigation strategies to reduce air pollution and health impacts.

The project exploits the combined experience and expertise of leading UK and Chinese scientists, applying multiple complementary approaches. The project deploys multiple atmospheric measurement and analysis strategies to characterise pollutant abundance and sources, develop novel emissions inventories, and integrate these to produce new modelling tools for use in policy development. We adopt a range of state-of-the-science approaches:

-Receptor Modelling, where detailed composition measurements are used to infer pollutant sources from their chemical signatures, combining world-leading UK and Chinese capability.

-Flux Measurements, where the total release of pollutants from all sources is measured, providing a key metric to refine emission inventories. We will combine near-ground measurements (using the unique Institute of Atmospheric Physics 325m tower in central Beijing), ground-based observations and fluxes derived from satellite observations.

-3D spatial analysis, in which a novel sensor network will be deployed around central Beijing to measure pollutant fields.

-Development of novel emissions inventories, which will predict the temporally- and spatially- resolved emissions of air pollutants from all sources, enhancing existing capability.

-Development of new online modelling tools, within which to integrate emissions, atmospheric processing and meteorology to predict primary and secondary pollutant concentration fields.

AIRPOLL-Beijing will integrate these approaches to provide thorough understanding of the sources and emissions of air pollutants in Beijing, at unprecedented detail and accuracy. While the project is a self-contained activity, key deliverables feed into Processes, Health and Solutions themes of the programme.

This proposal seeks Newton fund support, part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. The project will directly address ODA objectives, in the categories of (i) people (through the joint development of novel scientific approaches to the understanding of megacity air pollution), (ii) programmes (as all aspects of the project are joint UK-Chinese research endeavours) and (iii) translation (through provision of detailed air pollution source assessments, in support of assessment of health impacts and development of mitigation strategies). More generally, the project will leave a legacy of improved air pollution understanding and research capacity of the Chinese teams, and, through integration with other themes of the Megacities programme, underpin improvements in the health and welfare of the population of Beijing, and across China more widely - ultimately benefitting more than a billion people.

Planned Impact

AIRPOLL-Beijing will quantify the contribution of different industrial, commercial and societal activities to air pollution in Beijing and greatly enhance the Nested Air Quality Model Prediction and Modelling System (NAQPMS) multi-scale 3-D chemical transport model for operational prediction of air quality in Beijing.


Who will benefit:

1. Policymakers: The Chinese Department of Environmental Protection and the municipal/provincial Bureau of Environment Protection who are responsible for policy-making in air quality and for developing emergency control measure in Beijing and the surrounding region will particularly benefit from this project.
2. Business: Businesses will benefit, particularly those that are directly or indirectly affected by air pollution control measures in the Beijing region.
3. General public: There is a growing interest in China in air pollution, particularly particulate matter pollution. This is because haze, mainly caused by particulate pollution, is visible, and serious haze events cause significant health problems to vulnerable groups.


How will they benefit:

1. Policymakers: AIRPOLL-Beijing will provide an improved source apportionment of air pollutants in Beijing and an operational air quality model with online air pollutant source apportionment capacity. The former will be essential for refining the existing air quality policies at the municipal level, while the latter will benefit all levels of environmental protection bodies by predicting air quality and allowing development of emergency control measures to prevent serious haze events. AIRPOLL-Beijing will also provide a definitive example for future integrated work on air pollutant source apportionment in China, and thus improve accuracy of emission inventories and performance of air quality models, which will eventually benefit policy-making in central as well as local governments.
2. Business: The Chinese government has started a national programme to close industrial plants considered to be the highest polluters. A more accurate source-oriented apportionment of air pollutants will ensure that the high polluters are more accurately identified, which will avoid unnecessary shut-down. In addition, under unfavourable meteorological conditions, emergency control measures may be put in place; AIRPOLL-Beijing will provide scientific results and the NAQPMS air quality model to support the development of such measures. Better and more targeted emergency control measures will benefit business by reducing their impact on transportation and by protecting health of staff (so increasing productivity) and by minimizing direct cost due to unnecessary business shut-downs.
3. General public: New knowledge on haze pollution as a result of this project and the existing knowledge and experience of air pollution control from the UK will provide valuable educational information for the general public in China. The general public will also benefit directly from the improved prediction of air quality in Beijing to inform social and economic activities, such as whether or not to partake in outdoor activities.


Addressing ODA objectives:

By providing cost-effective solutions to air quality problems within China, the project will address directly poverty and development issues, and through the application of economic valuations in the Solutions Theme of this programme, will contribute to development of both effective and efficient methods of addressing air pollution. Accurate knowledge of emissions is a key factor underpinning the development of mitigation strategies which will deliver improved public health. Both the UK and Chinese research teams will benefit from their interaction and exploitation of complementary expertise. This will leave a legacy beyond the project lifetime thus increasing the research capacity of the Chinese teams and contributing to the continuous improvement of life and welfare of more than a billion people.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/N006992/1 25/01/2016 01/12/2019 £159,316
NE/N006992/2 Transfer NE/N006992/1 02/12/2019 01/02/2020 £10,078
 
Description The direct flux measurements above Beijing have shed light on the sources (and sinks) of pollutants in urban Beijing:

a) emissions of fine particulate matter within the city itself are very much dominated by cooking sources (probably dominated by emissions from cooking oils) rather than vehicle or industrial sources. In fact, vehicle emissions of primary aerosol in Beijing city centre are quite small, reflecting the considerable effort China has already made in reducing the emissions from this source. Our results indicate that control of emissions from cooking sources would be a useful strategy for reducing inner city emissions and concentrations, providing important guidance for China's policy on reducing health and economic impacts of air pollution whilst safeguarding continued economic growth. Further attention should be given to traffic emissions in the neighbouring cities (Hebei & Tianjin).

b) there are significant emissions of ammonia in the city centre, with ammonia being an important precursor of particulate matter. The results suggest that better treatment / containment of sewage may be effective in reducing the impact of air pollution.
Exploitation Route This finding has important implications for cleaning up particulate pollution in Beijing and other Chinese cities. The main contribution to the dust originates from industrial sources OUTSIDE the city. WITHIN the city there appears to be little additional scope in reducing pollution by tackling vehicle sources. Instead, the control of emissions from cooking (not the fuel, but the food itself, in particular cooking oils) could be looked at. As this could potentially be done at moderate costs it provides a means to improve air quality without economic burden or restricting development. This finding has the potential for contributing to the improvement of air quality in China, but may also be true for other developing cities in Asia.
Sectors Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

 
Description However, in terms of training, we have hosted a 20-strong delegation of the China Meteorological Administration at CEH. In addition, the project team has helped collaborators from Nanjing University in initiating VOC flux measurements above the China sea. Project results were communicated to delegates from several Chinese Ministries who were very engaged in learning about the findings and the implications of pollutant controls in Beijing.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
 
Title Pollutant concentration, pollutant fluxes and meteorological parameters measured 102 m above Beijing 
Description Concentrations and fluxes of H2O, CO2, NH3, O3 and particles (number and composition resolved) made during two 5-week campaigns on the IAP tower in Beijing. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Database still being exploited. 
 
Description Joint measurements on the IAP tower, Beijing 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences
Department Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution CEH conducted flux measurements of a range of pollutants from a height of 102 m on IAP's 325 m tower in Beijing. It provided a dataset of aerosol chemical composition at 102 m for joint analysis.
Collaborator Contribution IAP provided the access to the tower, meteorological data and datasets of aerosol chemical composition from 325 m and ground level for joint analysis and intercomparison.
Impact Dataset of aerosol composition at various heights above Beijing and a comprehensive dataset of pollutant fluxes above Beijing.
Start Year 2016
 
Description China Meteorological Administration visit to CEH 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A 20-strong delegation from the China Meteorological Administration visited CEH Edinburgh for a day to gain insights into the atmospheric chemistry and effects research by CEH. This included scientific presentation of our research conducted in and relevant to China as well as a site visit to our experimental falcities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Engagement meeting with Chinese urban air quality Policy Makers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a public engagement event organised within the framework of the final meeting of the APHH-Beijing programme, in which key finding of APHH-Beijing and SUNRISE were presented to key policy makers. Attendees included the Director of the Air Pollution Control Division of the Chinese Ministry of Eco and Environment, representatives of the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning and Environmental Sciences, as well as three delegates from the Beijing Eco and Environment Agency (incl. Chief Engineering Officer and Director of Science and International Cooperation).
The lively discussion sparked by the presentations demonstrated the high relevance of our research on air pollution sources and processes in Beijing, including the question of what the contribution of ammonia is to Beijing's air quality and to what extent this originates from agricultural and inner urban activity.
It was agreed to follow up thos meeting with a written science brief to policy makers and with additional individual meetings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster Presentation at European Aerosol Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation at international conference:

The impact of aerosol properties on boundary layer meteorology during a haze episode in Beijing. Slater, J., Mcfiggans, G., Connolly, P., Tontila, J., Romakkienemi, S., Topping, D., Sun, Y., Wu, Z., Joshi, R., Nemitz, E., Coe, H.; Poster P2-028, European Aerosol Conference, 25-30 Aug 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster Presentation at Royal Society Meeting "Air Quality Past, Present and Future" 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster at international conference:

Aromatic VOC mixing ratios in Delhi, Beijing and London. Acton, W.J.F., Huang, Z., Wang, Z., Wang, X., Zhang, Y., Davison, B., Langford, B., Mullinger, N., Nemitz, E., Fu, P., Hewitt, C.N.; Poster at "Air quality, past, present and future" Scientifc Meeting at the Royal Society, London, 11-12 Nov. 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster at international conference:

Volatile organic compound mixing ratios and fluxes above Beijing and Delhi. W. Joe Acton, Brian Davison, Zhonghui Huang, Zhaoyi Wang, Yanli Zhang, Xinming Wang, Pingqing Fu, Ben Langford, Pawel Misztal, Neil Mullinger, Eiko Nemitz, and Nick Hewitt. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-15012, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster presentation at International Aerosol Conference 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster at international conference:

Concentrations and fluxes of black carbon in Beijing using single particle soot photometry measurements. Joshi, R., Liu, Dantong, Allan, J., Coe, H., Flynn, M., Langford, B., Nemitz, E., Mullinger, N., Squires, F., Vaughan, A., Lee, J., Sun, Y., Fu, P., Kotthaus, S.; Poster 10MG.12; 10th International Aerosol Conference (IAC), St. Louis, Sept. 2-7, 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at AGU Fall Meeting 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Measurement of NOx and CO fluxes from a tall tower in Beijing. Squires, F.A.; Drysdale, W.S.; Hamilton, J.; Dee, J.D.; Vaughan, A.R.; Wild, O.; Mullinger, N.; Nemitz, E.; Metzger, S.; Zhang, Q. Abstract A43F-2533, AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, USA, 11-15 Dec 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Characterisation of Black Carbon (BC) mixing state and ?ux in Beijing using single particle measurements. Rutambhara Joshi, Dantong Liu, James Allan, Hugh Coe, Michael Flynn, Kurtis Broda, Jason Olfert, Martin Irwin, Yele Sun, Pingqing Fu, Junfeng Wang, Xinlei Ge, Ben Langford, Eiko Nemitz, and Neil Mullinger. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19, EGU2017-7081, EGU General Assembly, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Micrometeorological flux measurements of aerosol and gases above Beijing. Eiko Nemitz, Ben Langford, Neil Mullinger, Nicholas Cowan, Mhairi Coyle, William Joe Acton, James Lee, and Pingqing. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19, EGU2017-14777, EGU General Assembly, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Measurement of NOx ?uxes from a tall tower in Beijing. Freya Squires, Rachel Dunmore, Alastair Lewis, Adam Vaughan, Neil Mullinger, Eiko Nemitz, Oliver Wild, Qiang Zhang, Jacqueline Hamilton, James Lee, and Pingqing Fu. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19, EGU2017-5003, EGU General Assembly, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Volatile organic compound mixing ratios above Beijing in November and December 2016. William Acton, Marvin Shaw, Zhonghui Huang, Zhaoyi Wang, Xinming Wang, Yanli Zhang, Brian Davison, Ben Langford, Neil Mullinger, Eiko Nemitz, Pingqing Fu, Freya Squires, Lucy Carpenter, Alastair Lewis, and Nick Hewitt. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19, EGU2017-14884, EGU General Assembly, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Aerosol volatilisation in the urban surface layer. Eiko Nemitz, Ben Langford, Chiara Di Marco, Neil Mullinger, Nicholas Cowan, Yele Sun, Jian Zhao, and Pingqing Fu. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-11033, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Assessment of anthropogenic emissions in central Beijing via Eddy Covariance. Freya Squires, James Lee, Jacqui Hamilton, Will Drysdale, Adam Vaughan, Eiko Nemitz, Oliver Wild, Michael Holloway, Stefan Metzger, Dave Durden, Natchaya Durden, and Qiang Zhang. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-5198, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Examining the impact of aerosol size and composition on meteorology in a Beijing haze episode. Jessica Slater, Gordon Mcfiggans, Juha Tonttila, Sami Romakkaniemi, Paul Connolly, David Topping, Yele Sun, Zhijun Wu, Rutambhara Joshi, Eiko Nemitz, and Hugh Coe. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-14907, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Concentrations and fluxes of black carbon in Beijing using single particle soot photometry measurements. Rutambhara Joshi, Dantong Liu, James Allan, Hugh Coe, Michael Flynn, Ben Langford, Eiko Nemitz, Neil Mullinger, Freya Squires, James Lee, Adam Vaughan, Yele Sun, Pingqing Fu, and Simone Kotthaus. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-17778, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

The Impact of Isoprene Emissions on Air Quality in China. Yanhui Liu, Claire Reeves, Stephen Dorling, Graham Mills, James Lee, James Hopkins, Joe Acton, Lisa Whalley, Eloise Slater, Ben Langford, Eiko Nemitz, Qiang Zhang, and Ruili Wu. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-1316, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at European Aerosol Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Concentrations and fluxes of black carbon in Beijing and Old Delhi using single particle soot photometry measurements. Joshi, R., Liu, D., Reyes-Villegas, E., Allan, J., Coe, H., Flylnn, M., Langford, B., Nemitz, E., Mullinger, N., Di Marco, C., Squires, F., Drysdale, W., Lee, J., Vaughan, A., Sun, Y., Kotthaus, S., Shivani, Gadi, R.; Talk O5_F5_A07, European Aerosol Conference, 25-30 Aug 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at International Aerosol Conference 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Aerosol fluxes above Beijing. Nemitz, E., Langford, B., Di Marco, C., Mullinger, N., Sun, Y., Zhao, J., Fu, P.; Talk 8MG.9. 10th International Aerosol Conference (IAC), St. Louis, Sept. 2-7, 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at iLEAPS international conference 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Micrometeorological flux measurements of pollutant emissions above Beijing. Nemitz, Eiko; Langford, Ben; Mullinger, Neil; Cowan, Nicholas; Coyle, Mhairi; Di Marco, Chiara; Acton, Joe; Davison, Brian; Hewitt, C. Nicholas; Lee, James; Squires, Freya; Joshi, Rutambhara; Liu, Dantong; Allan, James; Wang, Xinmin; Fu, Pingqing. In: 5th iLEAPS Science Conference, Oxford, UK, 11-14 Sept 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at national conference ((Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Chemistry Special Interest Group)) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at national conference:

Direct measurements of pollutant emissions above megacities. Eiko Nemitz. Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Chemistry Special Interest Group (ACSG). Air Pollution in Megacities: Advances in Monitoring and Modelling. University of Leeds, 20-Mar-2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Training of three visitors from the China National Environmetal Monitoring Center, Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Three visitors from the China National Environmetal Monitoring Center, Beijing, visited CEH Edinburgh for four days to receive training in various aspects of the monitoring of air pollution and environmental impacts. This included visits to CEH field sites, introduction to instrumentation and techniques and presentations of results of CEH's measurements in UK and China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019