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PM2.5-related health impacts of utilizing ammonia-hydrogen energy in Kanto Region, Japan

Lu, Mengqian, Lin, Bin-Le, Inoue, Kazuya, Lei, Zhongfang, Zhang, Zhenya, Tsunemi, Kiyotaka
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2018 v.12 no.2 pp. 13
aerosols, ammonia, cost benefit analysis, elderly, electric energy consumption, emissions, energy, hydrogen, models, particulates, planning, public health, summer, toxicity, winter, Japan
Ammonia has emerged as a promising hydrogen carrier with applications as an energy source in recent years. However, in addition to being toxic, gaseous ammonia is a precursor of secondary inorganic aerosols. The concentration of ambient fine particulate matter (PM₂.₅) is intrinsically connected to public health. In this study, PM₂.₅-related health impacts of utilizing ammonia-hydrogen energy in Kanto Region, Japan, were investigated. It was assumed that 20% of the electricity consumption in Kanto Region, the most populated area in Japan, was supplied by ammonia-hydrogen energy. The PM₂.₅ resulted from incomplete ammonia decomposition was simulated by a chemical transport model: ADMER-PRO (modified version). Based on the incremental PM₂.₅ concentration, health impacts on the elderly (individuals over 65 years old) were quantitatively evaluated. The ammonia emission in this scenario increased PM₂.₅ by 11.7% (0.16 μg·m–³·y–¹) in winter and 3.5% (0.08 μg ·m–³·y–¹) in summer, resulting in 351 premature deaths per year. This study suggests that costeffective emissions control or treatment and appropriate land planning should be considered to reduce the associated health impacts of this type of energy generation. In addition, further in-depth research, including cost-benefit analysis and security standards, is needed.