Final Report: Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Carnegie Mellon Report

EPA Grant Number: R826371C006
Subproject: this is subproject number 006 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R826371
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States
Center Director: Seinfeld, John
Title: Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Carnegie Mellon Report
Investigators: Davidson, Cliff I.
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
EPA Project Officer: Shapiro, Paul
Project Period: April 15, 1998 through April 14, 2003
RFA: Special Opportunity in Tropospheric Ozone (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air

Objective:

This in one of the projects conducted by the Research Consortium. The objective of this research project was to improve U.S. emission inventories for ammonia (NH3), because NH3 is key to the fixation of gas-phase nitrate as an aerosol component.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

NH3 Emission Inventory for Fertilizer. Fertilizer application represents a significant fraction of ammonia emissions from all sources in the United States. Previously published ammonia inventories have generally suffered from poor spatial and temporal resolution, erroneous activity levels, and highly uncertain emission factors. To make major improvements, we have developed an ammonia emission inventory for fertilizer application, which, for the first time, incorporates county-level data at monthly resolution and includes more accurate activity levels and emission factors.

Of the nearly 200 types of fertilizer that are used in the United States, 13 types comprise roughly 96 percent of all fertilizer use. Studies in the Netherlands report emission factors for all 13 of these fertilizers including nitrogen solutions. These emission factors were used for 12 of the 13 fertilizer types. However, the factor for nitrogen solutions was deemed inappropriate in light of other studies; we used the factor from the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals. The emission factors for minor types of fertilizer are not as reliable. Quantities of these minor types were combined into a “miscellaneous” category and were assigned an emission factor equal to the average emission factor for all major fertilizers. The amount of fertilizer in the “miscellaneous” category is typically less than 3-4 percent of the total. The emission inventory incorporates information on crops planted in each county of the continental United States, the planting season for these crops, and other factors to arrive at the final emissions from fertilizer in each month of the year for each county of the United States. A composite result for the entire country is shown in Figure 1. The county-by-county results show that considerable variations in emissions can occur within a state. The emissions generally peak at two times of the year, in the spring and fall.

Figure 1. Emissions of Ammonia From Fertilizer for Each Month in the Continental United States.

NH3 Emission Inventory for Livestock. Ammonia emissions from livestock wastes typically comprise 40-70 percent of the total emissions on regional or local scales. Activity level data are almost always from the Census of Agriculture from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These data are collected every 5 years (1992, 1997, 2002) via surveys that are sent to the operators of farms and confined animal feeding operations. For the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) inventory, the 1997 Census of Agriculture dataset was used (USDA, 1997).

Emissions from livestock wastes are addressed by many different research studies performed during the last 20-30 years. These studies have provided emission factors that are used with the activity levels for inclusion in the CMU ammonia inventory. Overall, emission factors for livestock are not too disparate, suggesting that we can estimate overall emissions in this category with greater certainty than emissions from soil, which is potentially the largest category as discussed below.

NH3 Emission Factors From Soil. By far, the category in the ammonia inventory with the highest uncertainty is soil. Most of the uncertainty results from the poor emission factors, although improvements also are needed for the activity-level data. In the CMU inventory, we have made use of the set of activity levels from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency GIRAS dataset and emission factors summarized from the literature. Due to the great uncertainty in soil emissions, we do not quantify this source in the CMU inventory, but rather, give a maximum value. Future work will quantify this source category in future versions of the CMU inventory.

Combining Major and Minor Sources in the Complete Inventory. The resulting inventory, which also includes emissions from a number of minor sources, is shown in Figure 2. On a national scale, the ammonia inventory is dominated by emissions from livestock wastes and fertilizer application, with major uncertainties in soil. Although the minor sources listed below may play a larger role on a local level, the most significant of those sources comprise only a few percent of the national inventory.

Figure 2. Emissions From Livestock, Soil, Fertilizer, Domestic Animals, Wild Animals, Humans, Publicly Owned Treatment Works, Industry, Mobile Sources, and Wildfires in the Inventory.


Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 4 publications 2 publications in selected types All 2 journal articles
Other center views: All 49 publications 46 publications in selected types All 46 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Anderson N, Strader R, Davidson C. Airborne reduced nitrogen: ammonia emissions from agriculture and other sources. Environment International 2003;29(2-3):277-286. R826371 (Final)
R826371C006 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Goebes MD, Strader R, Davidson C. An ammonia emission inventory for fertilizer application in the United States. Atmospheric Environment 2003;37(18):2539-2550. R826371 (Final)
    R826371C006 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    air quality modeling, ambient air, particulate, ozone, environmental chemistry, California, CA, Northeastern United States., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, particulate matter, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, aerosol formation, atmospheric particulate matter, fine particles, ozone, fine particulates, airborne particulate matter, chemical composition, air sampling, air pollution models, air quality model, emissions inventory, atmospheric aerosol particles, California, aersol particles, aerosol thermodynamics, ammonia emissions, atmospheric chemistry, fine particle formation

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R826371    Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R826371C001 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Cal Tech, UC-Riverside, UC-San Diego, UC-Davis Report
    R826371C002 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Cal Tech, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute, NJIT, Oregon Institute, UC-Irvine, UC-Riverside Report
    R826371C003 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Cal Tech Report
    R826371C004 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: California - Irvine Report
    R826371C005 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Carnegie Mellon Report
    R826371C006 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Carnegie Mellon Report
    R826371C007 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: UC-Riverside
    R826371C008 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: Oregon Health and Science Report
    R826371C009 Research Consortium on Ozone and Fine Particle Formation in California and in the Northeastern United States: NJIT Report