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Emerging Air Pollution Trends in China



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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium Emerging Air Pollution Trends in China

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium Motor Vehicle Pollution and Fuel Consumption in China1 MICHAEL P. WALSH Consultant, International Motor Vehicles China has one of the fastest growing fleets of motor vehicles in the world. Since the late 1970s, the number of vehicles in China has increased about 10-fold. By the end of 2001, the total number of vehicles had reached about 18 million (excluding motorcycles), including 5 million cars (State Statistical Bureau China, 2002).2 In 2000, China produced 2.07 million motor vehicles (a 43 percent increase from 1995), 605,000 of which were passenger cars (an 86 percent increase over 1995), and 11.53 million motorcycles, or 44 percent of the world’s total production (an increase of 45 percent over 1995). By 2002, auto production had reached the 1 million mark, and indications are that the 2 million mark will be reached in the next year or two. In early 2001, the Chinese government designated the automotive industry one of seven “pillar industries” of the economy. The government’s Tenth Five-Year Plan proposes specific actions for restructuring and strengthening the automotive industry, which is now primarily engaged in manufacturing trucks and participating in joint ventures with foreign manufacturers for automobile assembly and the production of a Chinese family car at a price that will encourage mass ownership. Priority in the Tenth Five-Year Plan is given to investments in highways and oil and gas pipelines (State Economic and Trade Commission, 2001). 1   This paper is based on an article published in December 2003. Motor vehicle pollution and fuel consumption in China: the long-term challenges. Energy for Sustainable Development 4:28–39. 2   The term “motor vehicles” in this report does not include two-wheeled vehicles or rural farm vehicles, unless otherwise indicated. It does include cars, trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium The rapidly growing automobile fleet has brought significant benefits to the Chinese people, including greater freedom of choice in housing location, employment, and leisure activities. But in the absence of government intervention, it also has continuing costs in urban areas: worsening air quality; an increase in the number of automobile accidents; and the toll on quality of life from congestion. Another cause for concern is the concomitant rise in energy consumption, which will mean China will become more dependent on imported petroleum. FUTURE INCREASE IN VEHICLES The three primary factors leading to increases in vehicle fleets in China, as in most countries, are population growth, urbanization, and economic improvement. According to the United Nations, the global population increased from approximately 2.5 billion people in 1950 to 6.3 billion today, and it is projected to increase to almost 9 billion, about 50 percent, by 2050. As Table 1 shows, this growth will not be evenly distributed but will be concentrated in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China, already the most populous country in the world with 1.3 billion people, is expected to grow to 1.445 billion by 2025 before tapering off to 1.395 by 2050. Urbanization will also continue in all regions of the world, with the greatest increases in southern Asia. This is significant because per capita vehicle populations are greater in urban areas than in rural areas because urban incomes are generally much higher than the national average. In China, for example, average incomes in Shanghai are three to five times higher than the national average. Thus, ownership of private cars is likely to be concentrated in Chinese cities. As Figure 1 shows, the number of cities in China with more than 200,000 people increased substantially during the 1990s. TABLE 1 Worldwide Population Growth (in millions) Region 1950 1998 2050 World 2,521 5,901 8,909 More developed regions 813 1,182 1,155 Less developed regions 1,709 4,719 7,754 Africa 221 749 1,766 Asia 1,402 3,585 5,268 Europe 547 729 628 Latin America and the Caribbean 167 504 809 North America 172 305 392 Oceania 13 30 46

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium FIGURE 1 Urbanization trends in China. Source: He, 2001. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in the next two decades will be highest in China, followed by east Asia, central and eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Rising GDPs will be paralleled by increases in vehicle populations in these regions (personal communication, Peter Wiederkher, OECD). Since the 1960s, studies of the factors that influence the number of motor vehicles in countries and cities over time have consistently found that per capita income (as measured by GDP) is a major determinant of the size of the motor vehicle fleet (see Ingram and Liu, 1999, for a survey of these studies). On the national level, income alone typically explains more than 90 percent of the variation in motorization levels, and at the urban level more than 80 percent. Thus, with a growing population, rapid urbanization, and a rapidly growing economy, the vehicle population in China can be expected to grow steadily and substantially (Figure 2). FIGURE 2 Vehicle populations and income.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium PROJECTIONS OF CHINA’S MOTOR VEHICLE FLEET The strong correlation between income and motorization provides a simple basis for projecting the size of the motor vehicle fleet in China. China’s GDP, an indicator of personal income, grew at an average annual rate of 10.1 percent from 1980 to 1990 and 10.7 percent from 1990 through 1998. However, in 1999 and 2000 it grew at 7.1 and 8.0 percent, respectively (World Bank, 2001). Study by the National Academy of Engineering In 2003, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Chinese National Academy of Sciences published a major study of the Chinese automobile industry (CAE et al., 2003). This report attempted to develop a first-order approximation of the likely vehicle population out to 2020 based on three different assumptions about the growth of China’s GDP: a high growth rate of 10 percent; a medium growth rate of 8 percent; and a low growth rate of 6 percent. The projections are shown in Table 2. The medium-rate projection is close to TABLE 2 National Vehicle Fleet Projections at Different GDP Growth Rates (millions of vehicles) Year Cars Motor Vehicles 10 percent GDP growth 2005 7.9 26.4 2010 13.9 42.5 2015 24.4 68.4 2020 43.1 110.2 8 percent GDP growth 2005 7.2 24.5 2010 11.4 36.0 2015 18.0 52.9 2020 28.5 77.8 6 percent GDP growth 2005 6.6 22.7 2010 9.3 30.4 2015 13.2 40.7 2020 18.7 54.5 NOTE: Projections (in millions of vehicles) assume that total motor vehicle growth is the same as income growth and that automobile growth is 1.2 times income growth. GDP = gross domestic product. Source: CAE et al., 2003.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium projections made earlier by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (State Economic and Trade Commission, 2001). Study by Tsinghua University In a second study, carried out primarily by Tsinghua University, the growth rate of GDP in China is projected to be 8 percent until 2010, 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, and 6 percent from 2020 to 2030 (He et al., 2004). The authors also attempt to account for expected changes in vehicle structure, based on government policies and development plans of the Chinese auto industry (Research Group of the Automotive Industry, 2001). The most important changes are listed below: explosion of the car population “dieselization,” especially of trucks and buses shift from medium-sized to large trucks rapid growth in light-vehicle and minivehicle fleets Figure 3 shows the estimated number of new vehicles by type for each year based on these changes; the vehicle population is forecast to increase by a factor of approximately 6 by 2030, with the most rapid increase in the car population. Figure 4 shows the relative ratios of cars to trucks and buses and the changing composition of the vehicle fleet; the proportion of cars is expected to reach FIGURE 3 Forecast of total Chinese vehicle population (not including motorcycles). Source: Tsinghua University, 2002.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium FIGURE 4 Forecast of Chinese vehicle population composition (not including motorcycles). Source: Tsinghua University, 2002. 60 percent by 2030. Figure 5 shows the trend toward higher diesel penetration, especially in the truck and bus fleets. Figure 6, a comparison of the Tsinghua and National Academy of Engineering forecasts, shows that they are remarkably similar. ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH One of the obvious consequences of a rapidly growing vehicle fleet is its effect on the environment, particularly in cities. The air in most of China’s large and medium-sized cities is already unacceptably polluted; the largest cities are ranked among the most polluted in the world. As Figure 7 shows, during the 1990s, NOx air quality exceedances increased rapidly as the number of vehicles increased. Further increases will certainly exacerbate the situation unless major efforts are undertaken immediately to reduce emissions per vehicle. Emissions The combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel in vehicle engines produces a variety of potentially harmful emissions. The amounts and types of emissions depend on a variety of factors, including engine design, operating conditions, and fuel characteristics. Evaporative hydrocarbon emissions—from refueling, spills on heated engine parts, and so forth—can also be significant.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium FIGURE 5 Forecasts of Chinese vehicle population fuel consumption (trucks and buses only). Source: Tsinghua University, 2002. FIGURE 6 Comparison of the Tsinghua and National Academies forecasts of Chinese vehicle population (not including motorcycles).

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium FIGURE 7 Rates of NOx exceedences by city size, 1998 and 1994. Source: He, 2001. The gaseous and particulate pollutants to which motor vehicles contribute include: carbon monoxide (CO); ozone (O3)—through its atmospheric precursors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx); fine particulate matter, PM10 and PM2.5 (particles smaller than 10 and 2.5 microns [µm] in diameter, respectively); and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The toxic substances emitted from motor vehicles include aldehydes (acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and others), benzene, 1, 3-butadiene, and a large number of substances known as polycyclic organic matter (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs). The relative contribution of motor vehicles to ambient levels of pollutants varies, depending on the pollutant and the location. In most cases, motor vehicles are a large and rapidly growing contributor to air pollution. Health Effects Research conducted over the past several decades has identified some of the effects of different pollutants on human health, including the respiratory, neurological, and cardiac systems and several types of cancer. Understanding the effects of a single pollutant can be difficult because usually pollution is a complex mixture of pollutants; and it is often difficult to disentangle the effects of a single pollutant from the effects of other pollutants that follow similar spatial and atmospheric patterns. At the same time, it is apparent that not all people are equally sensitive to the effects of pollutants; some subgroups (e.g., the elderly, asthmatics, children, people with heart disease) may be at greater risk from exposure to air pollution than healthy people (Kunzli et al., 2000). An air quality standard is

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium now in place for NO2, but before 2000, standards applied to both NO2 and NOx. Therefore, a good deal of the historical data are for NOx. Overall, the effects of pollutants on public health are of sufficient magnitude to be of great concern. For example, one recent European analysis estimated that approximately 6 percent, 40,000 deaths annually, in France, Austria, and Switzerland could be attributed to particulate air pollution alone, and about half of that could be attributed to exposure to vehicle emissions (Kunzli et al., 2000). A more recent study by the World Health Organization concluded that approximately 800,000 premature deaths occur each year as a result of exposure to urban air pollution, primarily particulate matter (WHO, 2002). Air Quality In spite of significant advances in industrial pollution control, air pollution in major Chinese cities remains a serious problem and, in some cases, may actually be getting worse. In addition, the pollution has changed from coal-based pollution to vehicle-based pollution. According to available data, the national air quality standards for NOx are currently being exceeded across large areas of China, including, but not limited to, high-traffic areas (Tsinghua University, 2002). Before 1992, the annual average concentration of NOx in Shanghai was less than 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), which complies with the Chinese Class II air quality standard. But since 1995, the concentration of NOx has gradually increased, from 51 µg/m3 in 1995 to 59 µg/m3 in 1997. As illustrated in Figure 8, the change coincided with a rapid, steady increase in Shanghai’s vehicle population (Shanghai Municipal Government, 1999). FIGURE 8 Vehicle population growth in Shanghai.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium In Beijing, NOx concentrations within the Second Ring Road, which encircles the city center, increased from 99 µg/m3 in 1986 to 205 µg/m3 in 1997, more than doubling in a decade. Moreover, concentrations of CO and NOx on the trunk roads and interchanges exceed national environmental quality standards year round. In 1998, with the continued growth in vehicle population, concentrations of NOx and CO in high-traffic areas exceeded the national standards throughout the year. Table 3 compares levels of NOx and CO in Beijing’s high-traffic areas (city center) and lower traffic areas in 1997 and 1998. During the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1991–1995), O3 concentration in Beijing’s suburbs exceeded standards on average 53.8 days and 294 hours, respectively. In 1997, the average was 71 days and 434 hours, and the maximum hourly concentration reached 346 µg/m3. In 1998, as Table 4 shows, the standard was exceeded on 101 days for a total of 504 hours, with the peak level rising to 384 µg/m3. In 1999, O3 levels exceeded the standard for 119 days and 777 hours. The most serious air pollution problem in Chinese cities by far is particulate matter (PM), primarily from coal burning. A recent study, however, at two sites in Beijing found that vehicle exhaust now accounts for about 9 percent of PM2.5, and re-entrained road dust accounts for approximately 14 to 15 percent. Samples were collected simultaneously at two sites in Beijing, one located at Chegongzhuang in a downtown area and one located on the campus of Tsinghua TABLE 3 Concentrations of NOx and CO in Urban and Suburban Beijing   Year 2nd Ring Road (City Center) 3rd Ring Road 4th Ring Road Outside 4th Ring Road (suburb) NOx (µg/m3) 1997 205 190 177 112   1998 220 219 197 124 CO (mg/m3) 1997 6.8 6.1 3.3     1998 8.4 7.3 3.6     Source: Tsinghua University, 2002. TABLE 4 Changes in O3 Pollution in Beijing Year Days Exceeding Standard Hours Exceeding Standard Max. Hourly Concentration of the Whole Year (µg/m3) 1997 71 434 346 1998 101 504 384 1999 119 777     Source: Tsinghua University, 2002.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium FIGURE 9 Average source contribution to PM2.5 at two sites in Beijing. Source: He et al., 2002. University in a residential area. The results are shown in Figure 9. It is worth noting that at the time of this study there were virtually no diesel cars in Beijing (they were banned until recently), and heavy diesel trucks were only allowed into the city at night (He et al., 2002). STEPS TO ADDRESS POLLUTION Improvements in Fuel Quality Growing concerns in China about the environmental impacts of rising oil consumption have led to investments in new refining technologies and revisions in product specifications. One of the first policy targets was eliminating the 66 and 70 motor octane numbers (MONs) for gasoline, raising the new minimum to 90 research octane number (RON), and eliminating alkyl-lead additives for boosting octane through the addition of alkylate, reformate, and methyl tertiarybutyl ether (MTBE) and other oxygenates in gasoline blending. New unleaded specifications for 93 and 95 octane (RON) gasoline were added as well. Methyl cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is now used as an octane enhancer by about 50 percent of China’s refineries. Gasoline Specifications Table 5 gives China’s newest gasoline specification, GB 17930-1999 (China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, 1999). The total amount of olefins and aromatics in the gasoline pool are limited to 40 percent by volume maximum; the limit of olefin content is 35 percent by volume maximum. Diesel Fuel The original state specification for diesel fuel, GB 252-1994, was replaced by GB 252-2000 in January 2002 (the same standards as were introduced in the

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium TABLE 5 Specification for Unleaded Petrol for Motor Vehicles, July 2000 (GB17930-1999) Item   Limit   Research octane number (minimum) 90 93 95 Anti-knock index (minimum) 85 88 90 Lead (µg/liter maximum)   0.005   Sulfur (ppm maximum)   1,000   Benzene (% by volume maximum)   2.5   Aromatics (% by volume maximum)   40   Olefins (% by volume maximum)   35     Source: China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, 1999. Eropean Union (EU) in the early 1990s) (see Table 6). GB 252-2000 includes one grade with a maximum sulfur content of 0.2 percent by weight. The minimum cetane number limit is 45, with an exception for diesel fuels made from naphthenic or paraffin-naphthenic crude oils, which have a minimum cetane number limit of 40. These specifications imply that the cetane number of diesel fuels containing catalytic cracking components has a minimum limit of 45 rather than 40. In addition, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC) has issued a city diesel fuel specification, Q/SHR 008-2000. In this specification, the maximum sulfur content is 300 parts per million (ppm), and the minimum cetane number is 50 without exception. On October 1, 2003, a new voluntary diesel fuel specification, Automobile Diesel Fuels GB/T 19147-2003, was introduced (Table 7). VEHICLE-DIRECTED MEASURES Once leaded gasoline was eliminated, China followed up in 2000 with the introduction of Euro I standards for new cars and trucks. Recently, China also decided to introduce Euro II standards in 2004. (Beijing introduced Euro II standards in January 2003, a year earlier than the rest of the country; Shanghai followed in April 2003.) The standard allows 50 ppm for all diesel and gasoline sold in the EU in 2005, and fuels with a maximum of 10 ppm must be widely available by that year. All fuel must comply with a maximum limit of 10 ppm no later than 2009. In addition, several Chinese cities are upgrading their vehicle inspection and maintenance programs to reduce emissions further. In the city of Beijing, which has the highest per capita vehicle population and the most serious motor vehicle-related air pollution in China, a mandatory vehicle retirement policy was strictly enforced. Some 38,000 vehicles were forced off Beijing’s roads by the end of 1998. Among these were 14,000 microbus taxies

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium TABLE 6 Diesel Fuel Specification GB 252-2000 Brand number 10 5 0 –10 –20 –35 –50 Solidifying point (°C max.) 10 5 0 –10 –20 –35 –50 Cold-filtering plugging point (°C max.) 12 8 4 –5 –14 –29 –44 Flashpoint Pensky Martens Closed Tester (PM) (°C min.) 55 55 55 55 55 45 45 Cetane number (min.) 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 Distillation temperature (°C) 50% vol. recovered at max. 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 90% vol. recovered at max. 355 355 355 355 355 355 355 95% vol. recovered at max. 365 365 365 365 365 365 365 Viscosity at 20°C (mm2/s) 3.0-8.0 3.0-8.0 3.0-8.0 3.0-8.0 2.5-8.0 1.8-7.0 1.8-7.0 Particulates (% by mass) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Copper corrosion rating (50°C, 3hr max.) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Ash (% by mass. max.) 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 Carbon residue on 10% distillation residue (% by mass. max.) 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 Acidity (mg KOH/100 ml max.) 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 Water (% by vol. max.) trace trace trace trace trace trace trace Sulfur (% by vol. max.) 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 Color number (max.) 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Oxidation stability (insoluble) (mg/100 ml max.) 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 KOH = potassium hydroxide; I = iodine. Source: China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, 2000.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium TABLE 7 Automobile Diesel Fuels GB/T 19147-2003 Brand number 10 5 0 –10 –20 –35 –50 Solidifying point (°C max.) 10 5 0 –10 –20 –35 –50 CFPP (°C max.) 12 8 4 –5 –14 –29 –44 Particulate matter (°C min.) 55 55 55 55 50 45 45 Ignition property (one of the following properties must be met) Cetane number (min.) 49 49 49 49 46 45 45 Cetane index (min.) 46 46 46 46 46 43 43 Density at 20°C (kg/m3) 820–860 820–860 820–860 820–860 820–860 800–840 820–860 Viscosity at 20°C (mm2/s) 3.0–8.0 3.0–8.0 3.0–8.0 3.0–8.0 2.5–8.0 1.8–7.0 1.8–7.0 Cetane number (min.) 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 Distillation temperature (°C) 50% vol. recovered at max. 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 90% vol. recovered at max. 355 355 355 355 355 355 355 95% vol. recovered at max. 365 365 365 365 365 365 365 Particulates (% mass) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Copper corrosion rating (50°C 3 hr) max.) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Ash (% by mass. max.) 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 Carbon residue on 10% distillation residue (% by mass. max.) 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 Water (% by vol. max.) trace trace trace trace trace trace trace Sulfur (ppm max.) 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 Oxidation stability (insoluble) (mg/100 ml max.) 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 Lubricity (HFRR scar dia. @ 60) µm max. 460 460 460 460 460 460 460   Source: China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, 2003.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium that caused heavy pollution. Approximately 4,000 vehicles were physically destroyed at Capital Steelworks. More than 80,000 vehicles registered before 1995 were required to install vacuum time-delay valves to reduce NOx emissions, and 120,000 newer vehicles were retrofitted with three-way catalysts. Approximately 21,000 taxies and buses were converted to dual-fuel vehicles (mostly liquid petroleum gas and gasoline); and about 1,500 buses were converted to operate on compressed natural gas (CNG). Some 360,000 vehicles coming into Beijing were inspected, and 109,000 were turned back. FUEL QUALITY Unless there are additional improvements in fuel quality, it will be difficult to tighten new vehicle standards further. Sulfur is of particular concern. The rapid increase in vehicles has been a primary force driving China’s shift from a net exporter to a net importer of petroleum, raising concerns not only about China’s energy security and balance of payments, but also about the increasing strains on China’s refineries. Up to now, the Chinese network of refineries for producing indigenous heavy, sweet crude oil was able to meet most of the country’s demand for refined petroleum products. Chinese refineries were built to process relatively low-sulfur domestic crude oil, and they have limited hydrodesulfurization capacity. Imported crude oil, however, has a much higher sulfur content than domestic crude. Moreover, because China has decided to follow the pollution control strategies of the EU, fuel quality will have to be upgraded, which will require further reductions in sulfur. Table 8 shows the fuel specification standards now in effect in the EU for fuels sold in 2005. TABLE 8 European Union Fuel Specification Limits Petrol/Gasoline 2000 2005 Diesel 2000 2005 RVP summer kPa (max.)a 60 — Cetane number (min.) 51 — Aromatics (% by vol. max.) 42 35 Density 15°C kg/m3 (max.) 845 — Benzene (% by vol. max.) 1 — Distillation 95% by vol. (°C, max.)     Olefins (% by vol. max.) 18 — 360 — Oxygen (% by mass max.) 2.7 — Polyaromatics (% by vol., max.)     Sulfur (ppm) 150 50/10 11 —       Sulfur (ppm max.) 350 50/10b aRVP = Reid Vapor Pressure; kPa = kilopascals (1 atmosphere of pressure equals about 100 kPa). bA maximum limit of 50 parts per million (ppm) applies for all diesel and gasoline sold in the EU in 2005, but fuels with a maximum limit of 10 ppm must be widely available by that year. All fuel must comply with a maximum limit of 10 ppm by 2009 at the latest. Source: OECD, 1998.

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium The quality of fuels is inextricably linked to regulations for vehicle emissions. Because lower sulfur levels in gasoline and diesel fuel are preconditions for the introduction of advanced vehicle technologies that are able to comply with Euro III and Euro IV standards and beyond, China will have to substantially upgrade its refineries. In addition, for China to get the full benefit of stringent vehicle standards, it will have to use very low-sulfur fuels. Conclusions Pollutants emitted by vehicles are a large and growing source of air pollution in China. They already account for a substantial fraction of the emissions contributing to excessively high ambient levels of air pollution. Even with the currently adopted emissions standards, Euro II by 2004 and a 10 percent improvement in vehicle fuel economy as called for in the Tenth Five-Year Plan, emissions of all pollutants will still increase because of rapid economic growth. The shift to diesel fuels, although helpful from the standpoint of improving fuel economy, will put even greater pressure on urban air quality because of high NOx and PM emissions from diesel-fueled vehicles. In view of the very rapid growth in the vehicle fleet forecast for the next three decades, China’s environment could be subject to severe strains with significant public health consequences unless vehicle technology is substantially upgraded and fuel quality is improved. In addition, unless there are substantial improvements in vehicle technology, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will increase dramatically. FUEL CONSUMPTION AND CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS At the end of the twentieth century, China was the third largest oil consumer after the United States and Japan (He et al., 2002). Oil consumption in China, which has increased by 4 percent per year for the past 20 years, reached 210 MMT in 2000 (State Statistical Bureau China, 2002). Issues associated with increasing oil demand have already emerged, particularly the insufficiency of the domestic oil supply to meet future requirements for economic development. Because of limits on domestic oil-production capacity, China has been a net oil-importing country since 1993; the amount imported in 2000 was 70 MMT (Report on China Energy Development, 2001). The rapid development of transportation in China is largely responsible for the increasing oil demand. Motor vehicles in China consume about 85 percent of the country’s gasoline output and 42 percent of the diesel output. In 1995, China’s demand for oil was 3.0 million barrels per day (mbd), or 147 MMT per year. By 2000, the amount was 4.5 mbd (220 MMT). The amount projected for 2005 is 5.2 mbd (250 MMT) (Chen, 2001). By 2010, the projected amount is 270–310 MMT of crude oil per year, but the domestic supply is expected to

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Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China: The Challenges Ahead - Proceedings of a Symposium reach just 165–200 MMT per year. The deficit of 105–110 MMT will have to be imported. In the next three decades, the demand for oil will increase dramatically because of the rapidly increasing vehicle population. According to the Tsinghua study, unless vehicle fuel economy improves, the demand for oil by China’s road transport sector will increase at an average rate of about 6 percent per year and will reach about 363 MMT in 2030, more than five times the demand in 2000. CO2 emissions will rise to 1.15 billion tons. Clearly, improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency will be necessary to offset the high growth rate. A significant effort to develop a program to improve fuel efficiency is under way with support from the U.S.-based Energy Foundation. In addition, several recent studies have been done to evaluate the potential for alternative fuels to meet China’s multiple policy goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions; protecting human health; improving air quality; and achieving greater diversity in fuels and energy sources. Many promising fuels and technologies, such as hydrogen-powered fuel cells, have the potential to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation in the future. Other alternative fuels may also be important. CONCLUSIONS China’s vehicle population has grown tremendously over the past two decades, and all indications are that it will continue to grow quickly for the foreseeable future. Although many individuals will benefit greatly from increased mobility, absent government intervention, air quality will worsen, the number of automobile accidents will increase, and congestion will take a toll on the quality of life. In addition, energy consumption will increase, and China will become more dependent on imported petroleum, with all of the economic and energy security consequences that will entail. Although China has taken great strides in recent years to reduce vehicle emissions, much more will have to be done. Key strategies should include the adoption of very low-sulfur fuels, parity with Europe in new vehicle standards by 2010 at the latest, and an aggressive fuel economy improvement program. In the long term, advanced vehicle technologies and renewable fuels will become increasingly important. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES CAE, NAE, and NRC (Chinese Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council). 2003. Personal Cars and China. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. Also available in Chinese from Chinese Academy of Engineering. Chen, M. 2001. Proceedings of 2001 Conference on Crude Oil Information. Beijing: SINOPEC Crude Oil Information Center (in Chinese).

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