PM2.5 in China

Measurements, sources, visibility and health effects, and mitigation

David Y Pui, Sheng-Chieh Chen, Zhili Zuo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

314 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Concern over the health effects of fine particles in the ambient environment led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop the first standard for PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 μm) in 1997. The Particle Technology Laboratory at the University of Minnesota has helped to establish the PM2.5 standard by developing many instruments and samplers to perform atmospheric measurements. In this paper, we review various aspects of PM2.5, including its measurement, source apportionment, visibility and health effects, and mitigation. We focus on PM2.5 studies in China and where appropriate, compare them with those obtained in the U.S. Based on accurate PM2.5 sampling, chemical analysis, and source apportionment models, the major PM2.5 sources in China have been identified to be coal combustion, motor vehicle emissions, and industrial sources. Atmospheric visibility has been found to correlate well with PM 2.5 concentration. Sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate carried by PM 2.5, commonly found in coal burning and vehicle emissions, are the dominant contributors to regional haze in China. Short-term exposure to PM 2.5 is strongly associated with the increased risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in China. The strategy for PM2.5 mitigation must be based on reducing the pollutants from the two primary sources of coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions. Although conventional Particulate Emission Control Devices (PECD) such as electrostatic precipitators in Chinese coal-fired power plants are generally effective for large particles, most of them may not have high collection efficiency of PM2.5. Baghouse filtration is gradually incorporated into the PECD to increase the PM2.5 collection efficiency. By adopting stringent vehicle emissions standard such as Euro 5 and 6, the emissions from vehicles can be gradually reduced over the years. An integrative approach, from collaboration among academia, government, and industries, can effectively manage and mitigate the PM2.5 pollution in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalParticuology
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Vehicle Emissions
Visibility
Health
Coal
Particulate emissions
Emission control
Power plants
Pulmonary diseases
Electrostatic precipitators
Particulate Matter
Coal combustion
Environmental Protection Agency
Nitrates
Pollution
Sampling
Chemical analysis
Industry

Keywords

  • Atmospheric particle size distribution
  • Baghouse filtration
  • Coal-fired power plant
  • Integrative approach
  • Particle emission control devices (PECD)
  • Source apportionment models

Cite this

PM2.5 in China : Measurements, sources, visibility and health effects, and mitigation. / Pui, David Y; Chen, Sheng-Chieh; Zuo, Zhili.

In: Particuology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 01.01.2014, p. 1-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Pui, David Y ; Chen, Sheng-Chieh ; Zuo, Zhili. / PM2.5 in China : Measurements, sources, visibility and health effects, and mitigation. In: Particuology. 2014 ; Vol. 13, No. 1. pp. 1-26.
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