Air Pollution Complex

Author: | published date:2013-11-30

In response to the difficult tasks of controlling multiple air pollutants, our team established a research system as shown in Figure 1 that integrates field observation, numerical simulation and pollution control strategy formulation as an effort of understanding the formation mechanisms of air pollution complex and realizing the technological innovation of regional air pollution control. This system was built upon the research efforts conducted over Pearl River Delta regions for several decades.

The developed system includes:

a)        Technology development for closure experimental study in quantitative assessment of air pollution complex. We proposed the scientific concept for closure experiments of analyzing the formation and removal process of core pollutants;

b)        Diagnosis technology for the formation of air pollution complex. We have developed multiple regional air quality models and observation based models in establishing the numerical simulation system for diagnosing the causes of photochemical smog and haze formation;

c)        Pollution control strategy formulating technology. We have developed non-linear quantitative numerical simulation models for constructing emission inventories and studying pollution effects as well as the solution design technology for controlling air pollution complex problems and developing methodologies for regional air quality control. This system has been in successful practice for air quality monitoring and control in the Pearl River Delta for more than a decade, and the developed system and its application won us a second prize of the National Award for Science & Technology Progress in 2010.

Using the developed system, we have conducted a series of major observational research campaigns over the Pearl River Delta (PRIDE-PRD). In doing so, we promoted the establishment of a regional monitoring network and an early warning system for air pollution control (Figure 2). This network is further extended to include monitoring sites from Hong Kong, and finally there are a total of 16 sites distributed over urban, suburban and rural areas across the region to characterize the air quality in PRD. Moreover, the proposal of monitoring network was recognized and adopted by the government, and data from this network can be released to the public every day. The monitoring results from this network also became key reference materials to the decision makers in both PRD and Hong Kong. This established network is the first one of such kind in China. The methodology of air pollutants measurements of the network was developed based on our extensive field measurements; the locations and targets of different monitoring sites were carefully planned and optimized; and the detailed plan and QA/QC for setting up a permanent super site is well prepared. Through these research activities, more than 60 peer-reviewed papers have been published, including two in Scienceand two special issues published  in Atmospheric Environment and Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

By integrating regional monitoring, emission and air quality simulations and decision support, we built the first key technology pool for air quality monitoring and regulation. Those technologies also support the national on-line report of the criteria air pollutants (e.g. PM2.5) concentrations for 496 sites in 74 cities. In addition, we have developed a series of comprehensive planning for air pollution control, and initiated the research programs for prevention and control of the photochemical smog and haze in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). Taking O3 and PM2.5 as two target pollutants, we worked out air quality protection measures for Guangzhou Asian Games which were well accepted by Guangdong provincial and Guangzhou city governments. Furthermore, we proposed that the air quality management should act on a regional level, and formulated a mechanism to combine the resources from scientists to policy-makers. At last, our science, technology and management contributions enable PRD to be a pioneer and model of air pollution control complex in China. The relevant research findings and technologies deveoped can be helpful for other fast developing megacity regions.


Figure 1 Theoretical Framework of the Synthesized Air Pollution Prevention and Mitigation System


Figure 2 Comprehensive Environmental Monitoring Network Established in Pearl River Delta Including both Stationary and Mobile Platforms with In-Situ or Remote Sensing Detection Schemes