Comparison of source apportionment approaches and analysis of non-linearity in a real case model application

Belis, Claudio A.; Pirovano, Guido; Villani, Maria Gabriella; Calori, Giuseppe; Pepe, Nicola; Putaud, Jean Philippe

The response of particulate matter (PM) concentrations to emission reductions was analysed by assessing the results obtained with two different source apportionment approaches. The brute force (BF) method source impacts, computed at various emission reduction levels using two chemical transport models (CAMx and FARM), were compared with the contributions obtained with the tagged species (TS) approach (CAMx with the PSAT module). The study focused on the main sources of secondary inorganic aerosol precursors in the Po Valley (northern Italy): agriculture, road transport, industry and residential combustion. The interaction terms between different sources obtained from a factor decomposition analysis were used as indicators of non-linear inline-formulaPM10 concentration responses to individual source emission reductions. Moreover, such interaction terms were analysed in light of the free ammonia / total nitrate gas ratio to determine the relationships between the chemical regime and the non-linearity at selected sites. The impacts of the different sources were not proportional to the emission reductions, and such non-linearity was most relevant for 100 % emission reduction levels compared with smaller reduction levels (50 % and 20 %). Such differences between emission reduction levels were connected to the extent to which they modify the chemical regime in the base case. Non-linearity was mainly associated with agriculture and the interaction of this source with road transport and, to a lesser extent, with industry. Actually, the mass concentrations of inline-formulaPM10 allocated to agriculture by the TS and BF approaches were significantly different when a 100 % emission reduction was applied. However, in many situations the non-linearity in inline-formulaPM10 annual average source allocation was negligible, and the TS and BF approaches provided comparable results. PM mass concentrations attributed to the same sources by TS and BF were highly comparable in terms of spatial patterns and quantification of the source allocation for industry, transport and residential combustion. The conclusions obtained in this study for inline-formulaPM10 are also applicable to inline-formulaPM2.5.

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Belis, Claudio A. / Pirovano, Guido / Villani, Maria Gabriella / et al: Comparison of source apportionment approaches and analysis of non-linearity in a real case model application. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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