Clean Air Asia’s China Director reports from our capacity building workshop on Air Pollution Source Apportionment the Pearl River Delta Region

The workshop “Training on Air Pollution Source Apportionment: Approach, Model and Management” was held in Guangzhou on May 27, 2014. The workshop was organized by Clean Air Asia and Guangdong Provincial Academy of Environmental Science and supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The objective of the training was to provide PM2.5 and VOCs source apportionment capacity building for environmental protection bureaus and their affiliated research institutes in Pearl River Delta (PRD) cities. Around 50 representatives from 9 cities in PRD attended the training.

In the opening session, Ms. Zhang Ruifeng, Deputy Director, Guangdong Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Mr. Zhang Yongbo, Director of Guangdong Provincial Academy of Environmental Science (GDAES), and Ms. Fu Lu, China Director of Clean Air Asia made succinct introductions, emphasizing the importance and urgent needs of source apportionment work in PRD, and introducing collaboration on air quality management between Clean Air Asia, Guangdong EPD and GDAES in this region. The internationally renowned source apportionment experts Prof. Philip K. Hopke with Clarkson University, Prof. Feng Yinchang with Nankai University, and Mr. Cui Huxiong with Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center delivered training on air pollution source apportionment approaches, models and management based on their hands-on work experience respectively, and answered questions after each presentation.



Questions ranging from theoretical methods to practical applications were raised and discussed actively by representatives including the selection of source apportionment approaches, deployment of monitor spots and sampling, interpretation and analysis of source apportionment results, the role of source apportionment to development of air pollution reduction measures and so on. Specific suggestions and recommendations from experts gained the acceptance of city representatives.

Consensus was reached on two major aspects:

  • The work of source apportionment is not a simple process of merely entering data into models and calculate results. It is a time-, energy- and resource consuming task which requires solid emission inventory and strong capabilities to be accumulated of the research team. Since many cities in PRD have not yet carried out source apportionment work or are at early stages of doing so, the first step they should take is to work on the emission source inventory and strengthen capability building of research teams. Only in this way can source apportionment be successfully carried out and serve as a basis for scientific policy-making.
  • The main approaches of source apportionment include source inventory, chemical transport model and receptor modeling. There is no single best method. The three approaches can be complementary to each other scientifically. Receptor modeling, which was the focus of the training, is an essential way to identify pollution sources and assess implementation results of policy measures.

In specially-designed round table discussion session, representatives from each PRD city introduced their current status, plans and challenges on source apportionment. Huang Zuzhao, Chief Engineer of Guangzhou Environmental Monitoring Center and Cui Huxiong, engineer with Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center addressed specific technical and management questions raised by other cities by sharing their experiences. Prof. Hopke also made good suggestions to cities and shared US experience on source apportionment. He highlighted that both methodology selection and operation should be decided based on objectives of carrying out source apportionment, characteristics of local pollution sources, meteorology conditions and so on.

PRD city participants expressed special thanks to the training organizers and sponsor for the timely and in-depth technical support and requested for Clean Air Asia to keep providing such needs-oriented and focused capacity building as well as a platform for knowledge and experience sharing between PRD cities, and with other cities in China and other Asia countries.

Chinese Link
About the Training