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Rapid increase in China’s industrial ammonia emissions: evidence from unit-based mapping


Chen, Yuang et al. (2022), Rapid increase in China’s industrial ammonia emissions: evidence from unit-based mapping, Dryad, Dataset,


Ammonia (NH3) is an important precursor of secondary inorganic aerosols and greatly impacts nitrogen deposition and acid rain. Previous studies have mainly focused on the agricultural NH3 emissions, while recent research has noted that industrial sources could be significant in China. However, detailed estimates of NH3 emitted from industrial sectors in China are lacking. Here we established an unprecedented high-spatial-resolution dataset of China’s industrial NH3 emissions using up-to-date measurements of NH3 and point source-level information covering eight major industries and 27 subdivided process categories. We found that China emitted 798 (90% confidence interval: 668–933) gigagrams of industrial NH3 to the atmosphere in 2019, equivalent to 44±20% of the industrial emissions worldwide; this flux is three-fold larger than that in 1998 and has fluctuated since 2014. Furthermore, although fertilizer production is responsible for approximately half of the emissions in China, the emissions from cement production and coal-fired power plants increased dramatically from near zero to 164 and 41 gigagrams, respectively, in the past two decades, primarily due to the NH3 escape caused by the large-scale application of the denitration process. Our results reveal that, unlike other major air pollutants, China’s industrial NH3 emission control is still in a critical period, and stricter NH3 emission standards and innovation in pollution control technologies are highly desirable.


Please refer to the article for a detailed description of the methods.

Usage Notes

The dataset includes unit-based geographical locations (longitudes and latitudes) and ammonia emissions covering nitrogen fertilizer production, catalytic cracking, coke, iron and steel production, wastewater treatment, and soda ash production for years 2013, 2008, 2003, and 1998. Data of cement production, solid waste treatment (incineration), and coal-fired power plants are also included for the year 2013.


National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41630748

The High-performance Computing Platform of Peking University

Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41977311

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41821005