Evaluation of the nitrogen oxide emission inventory with TROPOMI observations

Yi Chun Chen, Charles C.K. Chou, Chian Yi Liu, Szu Yu Chi, Ming Tung Chuang

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4 Scopus citations


To compensate for the emissions missed or underestimated in the national bottom-up emission inventories, we apply the high spatial resolution satellite data from TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) to estimate the top-down nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in regional scales. The NOx chemical lifetime is derived based on ground-based measurements of ozone photolysis rate, ultra-violet (UV) index, and temperature. For five designated regions of western Taiwan, the derived lifetime is about 1–2 h in summer and 2–4 h in winter. The retrieved 2021 annual emissions for regions near two major pollution sources, Taichung thermal power plant and Mailiao Industrial Zone, are comparable with the emission from the Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS), with a difference of 6% and −12%, respectively. After validating the data and methods, the NOx emissions for five regions of western Taiwan are derived and applied to evaluate the bottom-up inventories. For northern and southern Taiwan, the top-down emissions agree well with emission inventories. The top-down emissions are 12%, 23%, and 16% higher than emission inventories for north-central, central, and south-central Taiwan, respectively. This indicates that the bottom-up inventories are underestimated from north-central to south-central Taiwan, which may be associated with the uncertainties from traffic sources. Given the various complex pollution sources, deriving NOx emissions from space allows us to acquire a better understanding of emissions on urban scales and improve the bottom-up emission inventories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119639
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Air quality
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Pollution
  • Remote sensing
  • Top-down emissions


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