Global particle number emissions

Beyond particle mass and chemical composition, the particle number and number size distribution are relevant metrics for health impacts as well as for aerosol-climate interactions.

The GAINS model has been further developed to include size-specific particulate number parametrization, which allows estimating particle number (PN) emissions consistent with the mass-based PM emission calculated for a specific scenario (IR-13-020; Paasonen et al., 2016). A first PN inventory for Europe was developed by Denier van der Gon et al., (2009) in the EU FP6 project EUCAARI (Kulmala et al., 2011). The respective methodology and emission factors have been further developed in a co-operation between the University of Helsinki (Finland), IIASA, TNO (the Netherlands), and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), resulting in a global PN emission dataset.

Total anthropogenic PN emissions in 2010 (left panel) and the normalized number size distributions for different regions (right panel); Paasonen et al., 2016.

So far, one set of global particle number (PN) emissions has been calculated and it draws on the current legislation scenario developed within the EU FP7 framework project ECLIPSE (Stohl, et, al., 2015). The results presented here rely on the ECLIPSE V5 scenario (Klimont et al., in preparation) and are provided for the years 2010, 2020 and 2030. The particle number emissions are divided into 11 main source sectors and eight size bins, covering the particle diameters from 3 nm to 1000 nm (i.e. from 0.003 to 1 µm). The PN emissions and their size distributions include both the actual primary PN emissions and, depending on the existing literature for each source, the particles formed immediately after the introduction of the trace gases into the atmosphere.

ECLIPSE V5 Baseline scenario (CLE)

Gridded particle number emissions by size distribution


Paasonen, P., Kupiainen, K., Klimont, Z., Visshedijk, A., Denier van der Gon, H. A. C., and Amann, M.: Continental anthropogenic primary particle number emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 6823–6840, doi:10.5194/acp-16-6823-2016, 2016.

Denier van der Gon, H. A. C., Visschedijk, A. J. H., Johansson, C., Hedberg Larsson, E., Harrison, R., and Beddows, D.: Size-resolved pan European anthropogenic particle number inventory, EUCAARI Deliverable report D141 (available on request from EUCAARI project office), 2009.

Klimont, Z., Kupiainen, K., Heyes, C., Purohit, P., Cofala, J., Rafaj, P., Borken-Kleefeld, J., Schoepp, W. Global anthropogenic emissions of particulate matter including black carbon. In preparation.

Klimont, Z., Höglund-Isaksson, L., Heyes, C., Rafaj, P., Schöpp, W., Cofala, J., Purohit, P., Borken-Kleefeld, J., Kupiainen, K., Kiesewetter, G., Winiwarter, W., Amann, M, Zhao, B., Wang, S.X., Bertok, I., Sander, R. Global scenarios of air pollutants and methane: 1990-2050. In preparation.

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Last edited: 12 February 2021


Pauli Paasonen

University of Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland


Zbigniew Klimont

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Pollution Management Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 547


Paasonen, P., Kupiainen, K., Klimont, Z. , Visschedijk, A., Denier van der Gon, H.A.C., & Amann, M. (2016). Continental anthropogenic primary particle number emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16 (11), 6823-6840. 10.5194/acp-16-6823-2016.

Paasonen, P., Kupiainen, K., Klimont, Z. , Visschedijk, A., Denier van der Gon, H., & Amann, M. (2015). Global anthropogenic particle number emissions and their size distributions. In: Proceedings, 4th International Workshop on Uncertainty in Atmospheric Emissions, 7-9 October 2015, Krakow, Poland. pp. 111-116 Warsaw, Poland: Systems Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences. ISBN 83-894-7557-X

Paasonen, P., Visshedjik, A., Kupiainen, K., Klimont, Z. , Denier van der Gon, H., & Kulmala, M. (2013). Aerosol Particle Number Emissions and Size Distributions: Implementation in the GAINS Model and Initial Results. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-13-020

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