Characterization and Impact of the East Asian Biomass Burning and Anthropogenic Atmospheric Mercury Emissions

Project Details


According to the estimate of UNEP, the global anthropogenic atmospheric Hg emission was1960 metric tons in 2010. East and Southeast Asia is the major emission source region, contributingabout 40% of the global emission. China is the top emitter, contributing about 30% of the globalemission. In recent years, large-scale Chinese haze events occur frequently and sometimes influenceTaiwan via trans-boundary transport, possibly accompanied by the export of atmospheric Hg. Biomassburning is another important emission source, releasing 675 metric tons of Hg to the atmosphere eachyear globally. Indochina Peninsula is a major biomass burning region, with intense burning activitiesoccurring between February and April. Monitoring results of the Lulin Atmospheric Background Station(LABS) indicate that biomass burning emission plumes from the Indochina Peninsula can influence themountain air quality of Taiwan, resulting in elevated concentrations of air pollutants, such as CO, O3,aerosols, and Hg. During transport, the biomass burning plumes may pass southwest and south Chinabefore reaching Taiwan. As a result, the biomass burning plume could also carry China’s anthropogenicHg emission to Taiwan. Therefore, a 3-year research project is proposed to characterize atmospheric Hgfrom different emission sources, to study the physical and chemical transformation of Hg speciationduring transport, and to discuss the impacts of foreign Hg emissions on Taiwan. This proposal isprepared for the application of research funding of the 3rd year (2017/8-2018/7). Intensive measurementsof atmospheric Hg, including total atmospheric Hg, total particulate Hg and size-fractionated particulateHg, will be conducted at sites in the source region (Thailand and Vietnam) and the downwind receptorsites (Taiwan) during the 2017 fall/winter Chinese haze season and 2018 spring biomass burning seasonvia regional international collaboration. Meteorological information and data of atmospheric radiationand other air pollutants will be integrated with the Hg data for detail analyses to achieve the researchobjectives.
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/07/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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