Observation-based sources evolution of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) in a megacity of China

Changhong Chen , Yarong Peng , Hongli Wang , Qian Wang , Shengao Jing , Jingyu An , Yaqin Gao , Cheng Huang , Rusha Yan , Haixia Dai , Tiantao Cheng , Qiang Zhang , Meng Li , Jianlin Hu , Zhihao Shi , Li Li , Shengrong Lou , Shikang Tao , Qinyao Hu , Jun Lu


Received September 29, 2021,Revised , Accepted January 24, 2022, Available online February 01, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 794-805

Both concentrations and emissions of many air pollutants have been decreasing due to implement of control measures in China, in contrast to the fact that an increase in emissions of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) has been reported. This study employed seven years continuous NMHCs measurements and the related activities data of Shanghai, a megacity in China, to explore evolution of emissions and effectiveness of air pollution control measures. The mixing ratio of NMHCs showed no statistical interannual changes, of which their compositions exhibited marked changes. This resulted in a decreasing trend of ozone formation potential by 3.8%/year (p < 0.05, the same below), which should be beneficial to ozone pollution mitigation as its production in Shanghai is in the NMHCs-limited regime. Observed alkanes, aromatics and acetylene changed by +3.7%/year, -5.9%/year and -7.4%/year, respectively, and alkenes showed no apparent trend. NMHCs sources were apportioned by a positive matrix factorization model. Accordingly, vehicular emissions (-5.9%/year) and petrochemical industry emissions (-7.1%/year) decreased significantly, but the decrease slowed down; significant reduction in solvent usage (-9.0%/year) appeared after 2010; however, emissions of natural gas (+12.6%/year) and fuel evaporation (with an increasing fraction) became more important. The inconsistency between observations and inventories was found in interannual trend and speciation as well as source contributions, emphasizing the need for further validation in NMHCs emission inventory. Our study confirms the effectiveness of measures targeting mobile and centralized emissions from industrial sources and reveals a need focusing on fugitive emissions, which provided new insights into future air policies in polluted region.

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