Establishing an emission inventory for ammonia, a key driver of haze formation in the southern North China plain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Sep 05, 2023

Despite the significant reduction in atmospheric pollutant levels during the COVID-19 lockdown, the presence of haze in the North China Plain remained a frequent occurrence owing to the enhanced formation of secondary inorganic aerosols under ammonia-rich conditions. Quantifying the increase or decrease in atmospheric ammonia (NH) emissions is a key step in exploring the causes of the COVID-19 haze. Historic activity levels of anthropogenic NH emissions were collected through various yearbooks and studies, an anthropogenic NH emission inventory for Henan Province for 2020 was established, and the variations in NH emissions from different sources between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 years were investigated. The validity of the NH emission inventory was further evaluated through comparison with previous studies and uncertainty analysis from Monte Carlo simulations. Results showed that the total NH emissions gradually increased from north-west to south-east, totalling 751. 80 kt in 2020. Compared to the non-COVID-19 year of 2019, the total NH emissions were reduced by approximately 4 %, with traffic sources, waste disposal and biomass burning serving as the sources with the top three largest reductions, approximately 33 %, 9. 97 % and 6. 19 %, respectively. Emissions from humans and fuel combustion slightly increased. Meanwhile, livestock waste emissions decreased by only 3. 72 %, and other agricultural emissions experienced insignificant change. Non-agricultural sources were more severely influenced by the COVID-19 lockdown than agricultural sources; nevertheless, agricultural activities contributed 84. 35 % of the total NH emissions in 2020. These results show that haze treatment should be focused on reducing NH, particularly controlling agricultural NH emissions.

Concepts Keywords
19years COVID-19
China Inter-annual variation
Pandemic NH(3) emission inventory
Rich Spatial distribution
Yearbooks Uncertainty analysis


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Ammonia
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH causes
disease MESH uncertainty

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