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Differences in concentration and source apportionment of PM2.5 between 2006 and 2015 over the PRD region in southern China

Lu, Xingcheng, Chen, Yiang, Huang, Yeqi, Lin, Changqing, Li, Zhiyuan, Fung, Jimmy C.H., Lau, Alexis K.H.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.673 pp. 708-718
air quality, cities, emissions, inventories, issues and policy, models, particulates, pollution control, population size, power plants, river deltas, rivers, weather, China
During China's 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) and 12th FYP (2006–2015), a series of air pollution control measures was implemented in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. Therefore, it is vital to determine how the concentration and sources of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in this region changed between 2006 and 2015. In this work, using 2006 and 2015 emission inventories, the concentration and source apportionment of PM2.5 were simulated using the Weather Research and Forecast - Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (WRF-CAMx) for January, April, July and October in the PRD region. The PM2.5 in 10 cities and the contributions made by sources in six major categories were tracked using the Particulate Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) module. The results showed that the PM2.5 concentration was lower across the entire PRD region in the 2015 emission scenario than in the 2006 scenario, and that the degree of this reduction exceeded 40 μg/m3 in some places. The PM2.5 contributed by mobile emissions decreased the most, especially in Guangzhou, Foshan and Shenzhen, where mobile contributions decreased from 15.0, 17.9 and 13.0 μg/m3 in 2006 to 2.6, 3.1 and 4.1 μg/m3 in 2015, respectively. The PM2.5 contributed by power plants also decreased, and in Dongguan and Guangzhou, the extent of this reduction reached 2.5 and 3.4 μg/m3 respectively. However, due to an increase in industrial production and population size, the PM2.5 from industrial point sources and area sources also increased between 2006 and 2015 in some of the cities. Investigation of the source apportionment for city centers yielded similar results. In addition to emissions within the PRD region, outside-PRD non-local contribution is still an important PM2.5 contributor. Hence, more stringent policies for controlling industrial and area sources and deepening province-to-province cooperation are urgently needed as the next step in PM2.5 control.