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The role of ammonia on particulate matter pollution over Portugal
by Helena Martins; Alexandra Monteiro; J. Ferreira; C. Gama; Isabel Ribeiro; Carlos Borrego; A.I. Miranda
International Journal of Environment and Pollution (IJEP), Vol. 57, No. 3/4, 2015


Abstract: Ammonia is widely present in the atmosphere owing to a variety of anthropogenic sources, playing a vital role in aerosol nucleation events. Despite its negative impacts on human health, NH3 is not regulated under the existing European Air Quality legislation. The analysis of the National Emission Inventory prepared annually by the Portuguese Environmental Agency indicates that total NH3 emissions have decreased more than 20% since 1990. Agricultural activities are the major contributors, followed by industrial activities over specific locations, waste treatment and road traffic. In order to examine the effects of NH3 on air quality over Portugal, particularly on PM2.5 concentrations, model simulations were performed using the WRF-CAMx modelling system. Two periods with distinct meteorological situations were selected to analyse the importance of the dry and wet deposition phenomena. A source apportionment analysis was performed in order to allow the estimation of the contribution and origin of each anthropogenic source to PM concentrations, with focus on NH3 contribution to PM2.5 concentrations. Despite being a relatively small source of NH3 emissions when compared to agriculture, the air quality modelling results indicate that the influence of the industrial activities in urban areas, where it can have a major contribution to local ammonium nitrate formation, is higher.

Online publication date: Tue, 02-Feb-2016


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