Vehicular non-exhaust particulate emissions in Chinese megacities: Source profiles, real-world emission factors, and inventories

Jinsheng Zhang, Jianfei Peng, Congbo Song, Chao Ma, Zhengyu Men, Jianhui Wu, Lin Wu, Ting Wang, Xinfeng Zhang, Shuangcheng Tao, Shuohan Gao, Philip K. Hopke, Hongjun Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vehicular non-exhaust emissions account for a significant share of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) pollution, but few studies have successfully quantified the contribution of non-exhaust emissions via real-world measurements. Here, we conduct a comprehensive study combining tunnel measurements, laboratory dynamometer and resuspension experiments, and chemical mass balance modeling to obtain source profiles, real-world emission factors (EFs), and inventories of vehicular non-exhaust PM emissions in Chinese megacities. The average vehicular PM2.5 and PM10 EFs measured in the four tunnels in four megacities (i.e., Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, and Qingdao) range from 8.8 to 16.0 mg km−1 veh−1 and from 37.4 to 63.9 mg km−1 veh−1, respectively. A two-step source apportionment is performed with the information of key tracers and localized profiles of each exhaust and non-exhaust source. Results show that the reconstructed PM10 emissions embody 51–64% soil and cement dust, 26–40% tailpipe exhaust, 7–9% tire wear, and 1–3% brake wear, while PM2.5 emissions are mainly composed of 59–80% tailpipe exhaust, 11–31% soil and cement dust, 4–10% tire wear, and 1–5% brake wear. Fleet composition, road gradient, and pavement roughness are essential factors in determining on-road non-exhaust emissions. Based on the EFs and the results of source apportionment, we estimate that the road dust, tire wear, and brake wear emit 8.1, 2.5, and 0.8 Gg year−1 PM2.5 in China, respectively. Our study highlights the importance of non-exhaust emissions in China, which is essential to assess their impacts on air quality, human health, and climate and formulating effective controlling measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115268
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online date12 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Brake wear
  • Emission factor
  • Non-exhaust
  • Source profile
  • Tire wear


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