• Wed
  • Sep 3, 2014
  • Updated: 2:47am

With vehicles top source of smog-causing pollutant, study suggests halving Pearl River Delta traffic

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 8:13am

Reducing traffic in the Pearl River Delta by half could be one of the most effective means of combatting regional smog, according to a cross-border air pollution study.

The study highlighted traffic as the major source of a smoginducing pollutant, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) generated from other combustion sources to form ozone.

It concluded traffic-related emissions accounted for 50 per cent of the ambient VOC levels in the region, with petrol exhausts being the biggest single contributor. This conclusion was based on modelling results.

The summary of the HK$10 million study on the formation of photochemical smog in the region did not elaborate on how traffic could be halved. It was funded by Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department.

The summary also reported that the share of industrial emissions was about 25 per cent.

Ozone is a major component of smog that not only reduces visibility but also threatens human health when exposure is prolonged and high.

Since 2005, ozone levels have been measured along with three other pollutants by a network of 16 monitoring stations, including three in Hong Kong.

Between 2006 and 2013, the ozone reading rose by up to 38 per cent. It was the only pollutant to record an increase.

The latest study showed that while reducing traffic in the region by half would be the most effective means of curbing ozone, cutting VOC emissions from traffic by half could achieve the same result.

The study also found that controlling ozone required careful advance planning, as it was not a straightforward exercise to reduce VOC or NOx emissions.

It found that sometimes controls at one place could backfire by significantly increasing ozone in other areas.

The report also proposed strengthening the monitoring network and setting up photochemical monitoring stations.


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“Marine vessels, including OGVs and local vessels, are the largest
emission source of local air pollutants. In 2011, local vessels accounted for
21% of sulphur dioxide (SO2), 32% of respirable suspended particulates (RSP)
and 57% of nitrogen oxides emitted from the marine sector. Reducing local
vessel emissions can improve air quality and better protect public health.
The improvement will be more evident around coastal areas”
The journalist should do his homework & ask questions before flashing out his article
Per latest stats, 'A total of 2.16 million tonnes of recyclable materials were recovered for recycling in 2012, of which, 2.10 million tonnes (97%) were exported for recycling and 0.06 million tonnes (3%) recycled locally.' (see plate 3.1 ****www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/materials/info/msw2012.pdf ) Note the worsening waste recovery rate 48% in 2011/39% in 2012, and increasing amounts going to landfill. So worrying and wasteful.
Nice little earner for HKSARG tho, revenue received from exporting, HK$6bill in 2012 per plate 3.5 in same report.
Why does this report omit any reference to the shipping industry? It just points to roadside and industrial pollution. The next time we have AQHI warnings of 9 and above, just check the indicators for Tung Chung or Tap Mun. They will become red/black first because the damn ships are just sitting there belching out their fumes. Control this industry for crying out loud. Singapore did and they have clean air by a HUGE margin.
actually Singaploh does not have an ECA
If we still find the traffic necessary but want to do away with pollution, we need to have new types of vehicles.
@"with petrol exhausts being the biggest single contributor. "
I have been saying for years ITS THE CARS & VANS STUPID, not the buses.
The cars have to go from our down-town streets!
the road bridge from Zhuhai is to connect HK Airport Authority's 55% investment in Zhuhai airport management with overseas destinations since Zhuhai airport has none
Elizabeth 'degree mill' 'Dr' Quat - would she have been appointed to District Councillor & Legco member & JP if the public knew her 'degrees' were not kosher ? is that not prima facie obtaining pecuniary advantage by way of receiving payments for her current positions by deception?
When can we expect to see Bow Tie on misconduct in public office charges ?
And we're building a road bridge for trucks and cars across to Zhuhai & Macau not a railway.... But then Donald's cronies like to be driven around in their limos rather than use public transport. That's why we have a bridge for cross border license cars. Elizabeth Quat ( formerly known as Dr Elizabeth Quat ) would do well to look at issues such as this rather than create a fuss about glass staircases and peeping toms.
well so much for VOC's, however the main polluter we have in Hong Kong is Ocean Going Vessels' emissions, yet we have no Emissions Control Area legislation to force the use of low sulphur fuel for shipping
16 mega container ships emit the same pollution as all the world's cars
Neither do we have any source separation of waste laws but our inane Govt wants to charge for waste handling including burning the voluntarily separated recyclables
Indeed HK waste recycling stats are a sham as evidenced during Operation Green Fence - imported trash sent t China was /is being included in the local 'recycling' stats


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