Particulate Pollution in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
This paper estimates the ambient particulate matter (PM) concentrations (2.5 and 10) in Ulaanbaatar by using the Atmospheric Transport Modeling System (ATMoS) dispersion model at three different elevation heights and predicts premature mortality rates using population-attributable fraction calculation with the ATMoS output. The ATMoS model inputs are seasonally allocated emissions inventories from domestic cooking and heating, electricity and space heating, transportation and fugitive dust, construction industry, and garbage burning. The model includes first-order reactions for SO2 and NOx for formation into sulfate and nitrate which are primary contributors to PM2.5.
The results indicate that coal and biomass burning are the primary contributors to PM2.5 at 56% while the remaining sources contribute 18% from vehicles, 14% from industrial units, 6% from power plants, 6% from resuspended dust, and 1% from open waste burning. The modeled concentration of PM2.5 is 153 +/- 70 ug/m3 which results in estimated 1000-1500 deaths per year due to outdoor air pollution. The results are similar for PM10. Within the valley, the highest concentrations occur east of the city due to industrial heater-only boiler units, the most populous Ger areas, and the predominantly northwesterly winds. The daily PM concentration peaks from 9PM – 12AM and 6 – 8PM which coincides with heating and cooking, and morning and evening rush-hour. The seasonal concentration of PM is higher in the winter due to more coal burning and lower planetary boundary layer height. The recommended best practices are to improve combustion efficiency of stoves and provide clean fuel in addition to aggressive pollution control measures.
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