Main content area

Trends of multiple air pollutants emissions from residential coal combustion in Beijing and its implication on improving air quality for control measures

Xue, Yifeng, Zhou, Zhen, Nie, Teng, Wang, Kun, Nie, Lei, Pan, Tao, Wu, Xiaoqing, Tian, Hezhong, Zhong, Lianhong, Li, Jing, Liu, Huanjia, Liu, Shuhan, Shao, Panyang
Atmospheric environment 2016 v.142 pp. 303-312
air pollutants, air pollution, air quality, anthropogenic activities, ash content, atmospheric chemistry, carbon monoxide, clean energy, coal, combustion, control methods, cooking, economic incentives, electricity, emissions, energy, heat, heat pumps, inventories, models, particulates, solar energy, sulfur, sulfur dioxide, toxicity, winter, China
Residential coal combustion is considered to be an important source of air pollution in Beijing. However, knowledge regarding the emission characteristics of residential coal combustion and the related impacts on the air quality is very limited. In this study, we have developed an emission inventory for multiple hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) associated with residential coal combustion in Beijing for the period of 2000–2012. Furthermore, a widely used regional air quality model, the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality model (CMAQ), is applied to analyze the impact of residential coal combustion on the air quality in Beijing in 2012. The results show that the emissions of primary air pollutants from residential coal combustion have basically remained the same levels during the past decade, however, along with the strict emission control imposed on major industrial sources, the contribution of residential coal combustion emissions to the overall emissions from anthropogenic sources have increased obviously. In particular, the contributions of residential coal combustion to the total air pollutants concentrations of PM10, SO2, NOX, and CO represent approximately 11.6%, 27.5%, 2.8% and 7.3%, respectively, during the winter heating season. In terms of impact on the spatial variation patterns, the distributions of the pollutants concentrations are similar to the distribution of the associated primary HAPs emissions, which are highly concentrated in the rural-urban fringe zones and rural suburb areas. In addition, emissions of primary pollutants from residential coal combustion are forecasted by using a scenario analysis. Generally, comprehensive measures must be taken to control residential coal combustion in Beijing. The best way to reduce the associated emissions from residential coal combustion is to use economic incentive means to promote the conversion to clean energy sources for residential heating and cooking. In areas with reliable energy supplies, the coal used for residential heating can be replaced with gas-burning wall-heaters, ground-source heat pumps, solar energy and electricity. In areas with inadequate clean energy sources, low-sulfur coal should be used instead of the traditional raw coal with high sulfur and ash content, thereby slightly reducing the emissions of PM, SO2, CO and other toxic pollutants.