Emission characteristics of CO, NOx, SO2and indications of biomass burning observed at a rural site in eastern China

Tao Wang, T. F. Cheung, Yok Sheung Li, X. M. Yu, D. R. Blake

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric O3, CO, SO2, and NO*y(NO*y≈ NO + NO2+ PAN + organic nitrates + HNO3+ N2O5+ ⋯) were measured in 1999-2000 at a rural/agricultural site in the Yangtze Delta of China. In this paper we analyze the measurement results to show the emission characteristics of the measured gases and to infer relevant emission ratios. Positive correlations were found between CO and NO*ywith a slope (Δ[CO]/Δ[NO*y]) of 36 (ppbv/ppbv) for the winter and nighttime measurements. The ratio is considerably larger than that (≈10 ppbv/ppbv) observed in the industrialized countries. The highest CO/NO*yratio (30-40 ppbv/ppbv) occurred in September-December 1999 and June 2000. The good correlation between CO and the biomass burning tracer CH3Cl and the lack of correlation with the industrial tracer C2Cl4suggests that the burning of biofuels and crop residues is a major source for the elevated CO and possibly for other trace gases as well. The average SO2to NO*yratio was 1.37 ppbv/ppbv, resulting from the use of relatively high-sulfur coals in China. The measured SO2/NO*yand ΔCO/ΔNO*ywere compared with the respective ratios from the current emission inventories for the study region, which indicated a comparable SO2/NOxemission ratio but a large discrepancy for CO/NOx. The observed CO to NO*yratio was more than 3 times the emission ratio derived from the inventories, indicating the need for further improvement of emission estimates for the rural/agricultural regions in China. Additional research will be needed to study the implications of rural emissions to atmospheric chemistry and climate on both regional and global scales.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2002


  • Emission ratios
  • NMHC
  • Rural China
  • Trace gases
  • Yangtze Delta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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