Ammonia emission and control potentials in the Pearl River Delta (PRD)/Guangdong Province, China

Shasha Yin presents an account of her YSSP project on potential control measures for ammonium (NH3) in the Pearl River Delta area of China.

S. Yin

S. Yin


Ambient air pollution issues in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region of Guangdong Province, China (including Hong Kong) continue to be major public environmental and health challenges. NH3 together with SO2 and NOx is a precursor compound of PM2.5 which causes concerns for human health and haze pollution. In recent years, local government agencies have implemented measures on reducing SO2, and NOX emissions and control strategies have been evaluated using regional air quality models to understand the impacts of emissions reduction. However, only a few studies in this region are available on NH3 emissions inventories or potential control measures for NH3, compared with SO2 and NOx.


NH3 emissions, as well as control potentials for the PRD/Guangdong, China, were conducted following the methodology of the GAINS model. By localizing the emission factors, improved PRD/GD county-level NH3 emission inventories were developed, including 9 source categories and 45 sub-categories for the base year 2010. To provide air quality model-ready emissions input, an inventory of PRD agricultural NH3 emissions was spatially allocated to 3km×3km grid cells with GIS technology. By investigating the cycle of NH3-N mass-conservation for livestock-specific (housing, storage, application, and grazing) and urea substitution, the NH3 control options and potentials of agricultural sources were identified for the years 2020 and 2030.

Results and Conclusions 

Results show that livestock is by far the most important NH3 emission source, contributing about 50.9% of the total NH3 emissions in GD province, followed by N fertilizer applications (~34.7%), and non-agricultural sources (~14.4%). Most emissions from livestock were distributed over rural residential and crop areas and the distribution of N fertilizer application presents intensive emissions on arable land. The projection regarding agricultural sources showed that the emissions steadily climbed in 2020-2030 based on the state of development in the year 2010. When changing the different farming system ratios for 2020 and 2030, for example, increasing the ratio of intensive farming, livestock emissions fell, compared with projections. Through assessment of the emission reduction potentials under the proposed control option in 2020 and 2030 for the main sources of agricultural ammonia emissions (i.e., animal manure and urea fertilizer application), these measures were shown to be  control-effective.


Zbigniew Klimont and Corjan Brink, Modelling of Emissions of Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases from Agricultural Sources in Europe, Interim Report IR-04-048, 2004, IIASA.

Oene Oenema and Gerard Velthof. Emissions from agriculture and their control potentials, TSAP Report #3, 2012. Editors: Markus Amann, Zbigniew Klimont and Wilfried Winiwarter from IIASA.


Shasha Yin, of South China University of Technology, is a Chinese citizen and was funded by IIASA's Chinese National Member Organization. She worked in the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) during the YSSP.

Please note these Proceedings have received limited or no review from supervisors and IIASA program directors, and the views and results expressed therein do not necessarily represent IIASA, its National Member Organizations, or other organizations supporting the work.

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Last edited: 19 August 2015


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