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Updated hourly emissions factors for Chinese power plants showing the impact of widespread ultra-low emissions technology deployment

Nationwide severe air pollution has prompted China to mandate the adoption of ultralow emissions (ULE) control technologies at all of its coal-fired power plants by 2020. This process has accelerated greatly since 2014 and, combined with operational adjustments related to overcapacity, has reduced the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM). Yet the quantitative understanding of ULE benefits is poor. Using detailed emissions data from 38 units at 17 power plants, corresponding to 10 combinations of ULE technologies representative of the Chinese power sector, we show that emissions factors for NOx, SO2, and PM are up to 1-2 orders of magnitude lower after ULE retrofitting. The effectiveness in cutting emissions shows a large spread across the various ULE technology combinations, providing an opportunity to choose the most efficient, economically viable technology (or a combination of technologies) in the future. The temporal variations in emissions at hourly resolution reveal the effects of power plant load on emissions, an increasingly important factor given that power plants are not operated at full capacity. These data will be useful in efforts to understand the evolving state of air quality in China and can also provide a basis for benchmarking state-of-the-art air pollution control equipment globally.


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Copyright 南京大学赵瑜教授研究组