A mass-balance-based emission inventory of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) for solvent use in China

Mo, Ziwei; Cui, Ru; Yuan, Bin; Cai, Huihua; McDonald, Brian C.; Li, Meng; Zheng, Junyu; Shao, Min

Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) are important precursors of ozone (Oinline-formula3) and secondary organic aerosol (SOA), which play key roles in tropospheric chemistry. A huge amount of NMVOC emissions from solvent use are complicated by a wide spectrum of sources and species. This work presents a long-term NMVOC emission inventory of solvent use during 2000–2017 in China. Based on a mass (material) balance method, NMVOC emissions were estimated for six categories, including coatings, adhesives, inks, pesticides, cleaners, and personal care products. The results show that NMVOC emissions from solvent use in China increased rapidly from 2000 to 2014 then kept stable after 2014. The total emission increased from 1.6 Tg (1.2–2.2 Tg at 95 % confidence interval) in 2000 to 10.6 Tg (7.7–14.9 Tg) in 2017. The substantial growth is driven by the large demand for solvent products in both industrial and residential activities. However, increasing treatment facilities in the solvent-related factories in China restrained the continued growth of solvent NMVOC emissions in recent years. Rapidly developing and heavily industrialized provinces such as Jiangsu, Shandong, and Guangdong contributed significantly to the solvent use emissions. Oxygenated VOCs, alkanes, and aromatics were the main components, accounting for 42 %, 28 %, and 21 % of total NMVOC emissions in 2017, respectively. Our results and previous inventories are generally comparable within the estimation uncertainties (inline-formula−27 %–52 %). However, there exist significant differences in the estimates of sub-categories. Personal care products were a significant and quickly rising source of NMVOCs, which were probably underestimated in previous inventories. Emissions from solvent use were growing faster compared with transportation and combustion emissions, which were relatively better controlled in China. Environmentally friendly products can reduce the NMVOC emissions from solvent use. Supposing all solvent-based products were substituted with water-based products, it would result in 37 %, 41 %, and 38 % reduction of emissions, ozone formation potential (OFP), and secondary organic aerosol formation potential (SOAP), respectively. These results indicate there is still large potential for NMVOC reduction by reducing the utilization of solvent-based products and implementation of end-of-pipe controls across industrial sectors.

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Mo, Ziwei / Cui, Ru / Yuan, Bin / et al: A mass-balance-based emission inventory of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) for solvent use in China. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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