Significant contributions of combustion-related sources to ammonia emissions

Chen, Zhi-Li; Song, Wei; Hu, Chao-Chen; Liu, Xue-Jun; Chen, Guan-Yi; Walters, Wendell W.; Michalski, Greg; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Fowler, David; Liu, Xue-Yan. 2022 Significant contributions of combustion-related sources to ammonia emissions. Nature Communications, 13, 7710. 10, pp.

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Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4+) can substantially influence air quality, ecosystems, and climate. NH3 volatilization from fertilizers and wastes (v-NH3) has long been assumed to be the primary NH3 source, but the contribution of combustion-related NH3 (c-NH3, mainly fossil fuels and biomass burning) remains unconstrained. Here, we collated nitrogen isotopes of atmospheric NH3 and NH4+ and established a robust method to differentiate v-NH3 and c-NH3. We found that the relative contribution of the c-NH3 in the total NH3 emissions reached up to 40 ± 21% (6.6 ± 3.4 Tg N yr−1), 49 ± 16% (2.8 ± 0.9 Tg N yr−1), and 44 ± 19% (2.8 ± 1.3 Tg N yr−1) in East Asia, North America, and Europe, respectively, though its fractions and amounts in these regions generally decreased over the past decades. Given its importance, c-NH3 emission should be considered in making emission inventories, dispersion modeling, mitigation strategies, budgeting deposition fluxes, and evaluating the ecological effects of atmospheric NH3 loading.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 2041-1723
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: atmospheric chemistry, element cycles, geochemistry
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 16 Jun 2023 13:31 +0 (UTC)

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