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Team C NG, NZ & PG E
  Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China 1  National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering 1 st  Symposium 18 th    –   20 th  July 2017 Sustainable Development Goals: transforming our world for the future Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China: Filtering Emission and Reducing Air Pollution  Nigel Gu En-Hua (A0156127H)  Nur Zhafirin B Nor Azhar (A0154846W) Pearlyn Gan (A0161872B) We understand what plagiarism is and have ensured we did not plagiarize for this assignment. This assignment is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the module  ES1531/GEK1549/GET1021 Critical Thinking and Writing.  SIGNATURES Date: 29 March, 2017  Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China 2 KA1:   Air pollution is a threat to people’s livelihoods.   P1: Haze jeopardizes the health conditions of the Chinese. E1: Studies from Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health discovered that on hazier days, deaths related to the heart or blood vessels and lungs increased significantly. E2: Daily admission data of hospitals in Shanghai from 2005 to 2008 by Fudan University showed the strong relationship between haze and hospital admission for the related diseases. E3: PM2.5 concentration, which is extremely harmful, was four times higher in Jing-Jin-Ji region than recommended by the World Health Organisation E4: Life expectancy in Northern China is expected to decrease by 5.5 years due to air pollution. P2:  Haze threatens the food security of the Chinese. E1: Fine particles obstruct the crops from receiving sufficient solar energy and thus reduce crop yield. E2: Case study showed crop yield in Eastern China reduced by 5-30% due to haze. E3: He Dongxian, an associate professor with China Agricultural Univer  sity’s College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering did an experiment to show that time taken to grow crops increased due to haze. KA2:  The problem is mainly caused by the emissions from coal-fired power plants and vehicles. P1:  Emissions from coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) are main contributors of air pollution. E1: China’s economic boom has increased their demand for CFPPs. E2: A study from Tsinghua University discovered that SO 2 , NO x  and PM2.5 emissions from CFPPs have increased around 1.6 times from 2000 to 2005, contributing to about 60% of the total emissions. E3: Wang discovered that presence of both SO 2  and NO x  indirectly accelerates the formation of haze. E4: From 2005 to 2007, NO x  emission increased from 8.11 Tg to 9.58 Tg. Hebei is one of the main culprits for this significant increment. P2:  Emissions from diesel vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution. E1: 31% of PM2.5 is emitted from vehicles E2: Significant increase in vehicle ownership is due to the rapid economic growth E3: Among all types of vehicles, heavy-duty diesel vehicles (HDDVs) produce the highest amount of harmful pollutants. E4: The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) reported that HDDVs contribute to 70% of the 6.278 Tg of NO x  vehicle emissions and 90% of the 0.75 Tg of PM2.5 vehicle emissions in 2015. KA3:  The current measures include filtering SO 2  emission and implementing diesel vehicle regulations. P1: Flue gas desulfurization systems (FGDs) has  been employed to reduce SO 2  emission. E1: FGDs can reduce emission by 90%. E2: According to Xu, from 2006 to 2009, China has installed FGDs in 422, 000 MW CFPPs and increased the percentage of CFPPs with FGDs to 71%. E4: There are incentives and subsidies given by the government. But they are insufficient to cover the cost of operating the systems and maintaining them. E5: Many CFPPs failed to comply with governmental regulations by under-reporting their emissions and colluded with investigators to avoid paying fines. E6: Although method has reduced the overall emission but it is not as effective due to the cost of overhead and maintenance, and lack of proper enforcements. P2: Strengthening the enforcement of HDDVs’ regulations to reduce harmful emissions by diesel vehicles. E1: Since 2000, MEP and local environmental  protection bureaus (EPBs) kick-started a series of regulations to reduce emission levels by phasing out high mileage vehicles. E2: Regulations prohibit all the HDDVs that fail to meet the requirements from going on the roads and forces users to upgrade their vehicles every three years. E3: This mandatory upgrading brings about an increase in cost of using HDDVs. KA4:  Further investments into newer technology are required to address the causes of the haze. P1: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) is an emission control technology that reduces NO x  emission through a catalytic process. E1: Experiments conducted by the Chinese Academy of Science showed that SCR can effectively reduce 80% of NO x  emissions. E2: Government officials can force vehicle and power  plant owners to install SCR, and impose fines for  pollution. E3: In China, HDDVs with emission levels higher than the requirements are banned from roads and such  power plants are charged an emission tax for certain  pollutants. P2:  Smog Harvesting Technology (SHT) can reduce haze and harmful pollutants through a series of chemical reactions, and has a wide array of applications. E1: By mixing cement with titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ), a special concrete that captures NO x  is formed. E2: TiO 2  will act as a catalyst that neutralizes NO x  when exposed to sunlight. E3: The photoinduced TiO 2  will create a hydrophilic surface that allows precipitation to efficiently remove any residue. E4: The catalytic TiO 2  will revert to its initial state and can be promptly reused. E5: Real- world applications of SHT include Milan’s Palazzo Italia and Mexico City’s Torre de Especialidades Hospital which has a façade coated with TiO 2 . E6: Research by Ballari and Brouwers in 2013 also  proved that there was a 45% reduction in NO x concentrations surrounding the areas with TiO 2 . China’s air pollution threatens public health and food security because of harmful emissions from coal -fired power plants and vehicles. Although there are governmental regulations and technology employed to counter the emissions, the measures are inadequate. More effective engineering solutions are needed to ameliorate the problem.  Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China 3 Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China:   Filtering Emission and Reducing Air Pollution   China’s Beijing -Tianjin-Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) region is the national capital region of China (Big Plan, 2016). This paper identifies that this industrialized megaregion in Northern China (Shepard, 2016) faces unsustainable growth problems due to air pollution, and asserts that the problem can be addressed by using emission control technologies and pollution neutralizing infrastructures. Air quality is defined using the Air Quality Index (AQI) (See Appendix A), higher values indicate poorer air quality. Firstl y, this paper assesses the impacts that China’s air pollution has on its population. Coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) and vehicles are identified as the main emitters of polluting  particles, and are responsible for China's severe air pollution. Although the Chinese government has recognized the causes of the pollution, the current measures that have been implemented have limited effectiveness in controlling the emissions. Therefore, this paper  proposes two engineering solutions to limit emission and cleanse existing air pollution.  Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China 4 Problem  In December 2016, Beijing declared red alert as the AQI reached a level that indicated hazardous air quality for the population (Phillips, 2016). Authorities issued a five-day warning, ceasing factory activities and closing schools (Stanway, 2016). This alert was triggered by a severe episode of haze - an atmospheric phenomenon that is characterized by dust, smoke, and particulate matters (PM) (Allaby, 2013). The grave repercussions not only threaten public health, but are also detrimental to crops. Haze-Related Mortality  Air pollution has a strong positive correlation with mortality risks. Studies from Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health revealed that on hazier days, cardiovascular and respiratory deaths increased significantly (Liu et al., 2014). Similarly, a study by Fudan University discovered, that haze has a strong correlation with admission for lung and heart-related diseases (Wenzhen, Renjie, Weimin & Haidong, 2011). The health problems are mainly caused by PM2.5, which are microscopic particles (less than 2.5μm) that can  penetrate lung tissues, causing asthma, bronchitis and acute allergic reactions (Nel, 2005). The International Agency for Research on Cancer also categorized outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic (Loomis, Huang & Chen, 2014). Alarmingly, Chen, Ebenstein, Greenstone and Li (2013) identified that life expectancy in Northern China is expected to decrease by 5.5 years due to air pollution. Clearly, Jing-Jin- Ji’s air quality has severe implications on public’s health. Food Security  Air pollution also has negative impacts on agriculture. Fine particles absorb solar radiation that is needed for crops to thrive (Chameides et al., 1999). A case study by Chen,  Ameliorating Air Quality in Jing-Jin-Ji, China 5 Baethgen and Robertson (2013) showed that crop yield in Eastern China has been reduced by 5-30% due to frequent haze. He Dongxian, an associate professor of China Agricultural University, also discovered that chilli and tomato seeds that usually take twenty days to sprout, took more than two months in Beijing’s greenhouse farm (Chen, 2014). Thus, the  pernicious effects of air pollution on crop yield is evident and hence threatens China’s food security.
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