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Volume 16, issue 5
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3369–3382, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-3369-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: East Asia emissions assessment (EA2)

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3369–3382, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-3369-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 15 Mar 2016

Research article | 15 Mar 2016

Top-down estimates of benzene and toluene emissions in the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong, China

Xuekun Fang1, Min Shao2, Andreas Stohl3, Qiang Zhang4, Junyu Zheng5, Hai Guo6, Chen Wang2,7, Ming Wang2, Jiamin Ou8, Rona L. Thompson3, and Ronald G. Prinn1 Xuekun Fang et al.
  • 1Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 3Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
  • 4Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 5College of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, University Town, Guangzhou, China
  • 6Air Quality Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • 7College of Environmental Engineering and Science, Qilu University of Technology, Jinan, Shandong, China
  • 8Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Abstract. Benzene (C6H6) and toluene (C7H8) are toxic to humans and the environment. They are also important precursors of ground-level ozone and secondary organic aerosols and contribute substantially to severe air pollution in urban areas in China. Discrepancies exist between different bottom-up inventories for benzene and toluene emissions in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and Hong Kong (HK), which are emission hot spots in China. This study provides top-down estimates of benzene and toluene emissions in the PRD and HK using atmospheric measurement data from a rural site in the area, Heshan, an atmospheric transport model, and an inverse modeling method. The model simulations captured the measured mixing ratios during most pollution episodes. For the PRD and HK, the benzene emissions estimated in this study for 2010 were 44 (12–75) and 5 (2–7) Gg yr−1 for the PRD and HK, respectively, and the toluene emissions were 131 (44–218) and 6 (2–9) Gg yr−1, respectively. Temporal and spatial differences between the inversion estimate and four different bottom-up emission estimates are discussed, and it is proposed that more observations at different sites are urgently needed to better constrain benzene and toluene (and other air pollutant) emissions in the PRD and HK in the future.

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This is the first study reporting top-down estimates of benzene and toluene emissions in southern China using atmospheric measurement data from a rural site in the area, an atmospheric transport model and an inverse modeling method. This study shows in detail the temporal and spatial differences between the inversion estimate and four different bottom-up emission inventories (RCP, REAS, MEIC; Yin et al., 2015). We propose that more observations are urgently needed in future.
This is the first study reporting top-down estimates of benzene and toluene emissions in...
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