Increasing Ammonia Concentrations Reduce the Effectiveness of Particle Pollution Control Achieved via SO2and NOXEmissions Reduction in East China

Xiao Fu, Shuxiao Wang, Jia Xing, Xiaoye Zhang, Tao Wang, Jiming Hao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) plays a crucial role in the formation of secondary inorganic aerosols (SIAs). Although China produces a large amount of NH3emissions, it has not yet taken any measures to control NH3emissions. Satellite retrievals show that NH3vertical column densities (VCDs) have obviously increased in recent years, by approximately 20% from 2011 to 2014, in contrast to the decreases seen for SO2and NOXVCDs. Evidence of the ground-based observations and satellite retrievals indicates that the increases in NH3concentrations have weakened the benefits of the reduction in SIA concentrations (especially for nitrate) from SO2and NOXemissions control. Results from model simulations suggest that the simultaneous control of NH3emissions in conjunction with SO2and NOXemissions is more effective in reducing particulate matter (PM) pollution than the process without NH3emissions control is. Our findings indicate that the continual increases in free NH3concentrations can result in a lower sensitivity of PM reduction to NH3emissions control in the future, and reducing NH3emissions is urgently required for the effective control of PM pollution in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology

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