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Quantification and evaluation of atmospheric pollutant emissions from open biomass burning with multiple methods: a case study for the Yangtze River Delta region, China

Air pollutant emissions from open biomass burning(OBB) in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) were estimated for 2005–2015 using three (traditional bottom-up, fire radiative power (FRP), and constraining) approaches, and the differences among those methods and their sources were analyzed.The species included PM10, PM2:5, organic carbon(OC), elemental carbon (EC), CH4, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), CO, CO2, NOx , SO2 and NH3. The interannual trends in emissions with FRP-based and constraining methods were similar to the fire counts in 2005–2012, while those with the traditional method were not. For most years, emissions of all species estimated with the constraining method were smaller than those with the traditional method except for NMVOCs, while they were larger than those with the FRP-based method except for EC,CH4 and NH3. Such discrepancies result mainly from different masses of crop residue burned in the field (CRBF) estimated in the three methods. Chemistry transport modeling (CTM) was applied using the three OBB inventories.The simulated PM10 concentrations with constrained emissions were closest to the available observations, implying that the constraining method provided the best emission estimates. CO emissions in the three methods were compared with other studies. Similar temporal variations were found for the constrained emissions, FRP-based emissions,GFASv1.0 and GFEDv4.1s, with the largest and the lowest emissions estimated for 2012 and 2006, respectively. The temporal variations in the emissions based on the traditional method, GFEDv3.0, and the method of Xia et al. (2016) were different. The constrained CO emissions in this study were commonly smaller than those based on the traditional bottom-up method and larger than those based on burned area or FRP in other studies. In particular, the constrained emissions were close to GFEDv4.1s that contained emissions from small fires. The contributions of OBB to two particulate pollution events in 2010 and 2012 were analyzed with the brute-force method. Attributed to varied OBB emissions and meteorology, the average contribution of OBB to PM10 concentrations in 8–14 June 2012 was estimated at 37.6%(56.7 μgm-3), larger than that in 17–24 June 2010 at 21.8%(24.0 μgm-3). Influences of diurnal curves of OBB emissions and meteorology on air pollution caused by OBB were evaluated by designing simulation scenarios, and the results suggested that air pollution caused by OBB would become heavier if the meteorological conditions were unfavorable and that more attention should be paid to the OBB control at night. Quantified with Monte Carlo simulation, the uncertainty of the traditional bottom-up inventory was smaller than that of the FRP-based one. The percentages of CRBF and emission factors were the main source of uncertainty for the two approaches. Further improvement on CTM for OBB events would help better constrain OBB emissions.


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