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Establishment of High-Resolution Atmospheric Mercury Emission Inventories for Chinese Cement Plants Based on the Mass Balance Method

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journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2020, 07:45 authored by Xingrui Cai, Bofeng Cai, Haoran Zhang, Long Chen, Chaoyue Zheng, Peifeng Tong, Huiming Lin, Qianru Zhang, Maodian Liu, Yindong Tong, Xuejun Wang
China is the world’s largest cement-related mercury emitter. Atmospheric mercury inventories for China’s cement industry are essential for appraising global mercury emissions and have been widely developed in previous studies associated with considerable uncertainties. In this study, we compiled high tempo-spatial resolution atmospheric mercury emission inventories for Chinese cement plants using the mass balance method and plant-level input–output data. The effects of industry policies were investigated based on the inventories for 2007 and 2015. Nationwide emissions increased from 80 to 113 t due to rapid expansion of production and kiln-type substitution yet partly offset by policies involving capacity structure reformation. Pollution decreased in winter in northern China, thanks to the targeting policies. Mercury input, output, and storage in cement kilns in China were estimated. The uncertainty remarkably decreased relative to previous inventories. This study demonstrates the feasibility of establishing high-resolution emission inventories with the application of the mass balance method for all the individual plants nationwide and thus has implications for similar studies. This work also improves our understanding of the spatial patterns and temporal evolution of mercury emissions in China, thus offering references for the implementation of environment policies and the Minamata Convention on Mercury in China.