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A number-based inventory of particle emissions by civil aviation and the influences on the particle number concentration near Zurich airport

8 pagesPublished: December 23, 2019


With the rapidly growing global air traffic, the impacts of the particulate matter (PM) in the aviation exhaust on climate, environment and public health are likely rising. The particle number and size distribution are crucial metrics for toxicological analysis and aerosol-cloud interactions. The modern aircraft engines are characterized by decreasing levels of mass emissions of particulate matter, leading to little contribution to the mass concentration. However, the abundant ultrafine particles in the aviation exhaust with diameters less than 100 nm may significantly increase the particle number concentration (PNC). Here we will introduce our recent studies on utilizing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) from OpenSky network to develop the black carbon (BC) particle number emission inventory for global civil aviation and to investigate the influences of aviation emissions on the particle number concentration near Zurich airport.
The developed inventory indicated that the BC particle number emission was approximately (10.9±2.1)×1025 per year with an average emission index of (6.06±1.18)×1014 per kg of burned fuel, which was about 1.3% of the total ground anthropogenic emissions, and 3.6% of the road transport emission.
The preliminary dispersion results showed that the number concentration of volatile particles emitted by aviation was about 2 orders of magnitude higher than that of non-volatile particles. The annual mean contributions of the Zurich airport to the particle number concentrations ranged from about 105 cm-3 at the airport entrance to about 103 cm-3 at ETH Honggerberg (about 6 km away). There were about 1000 hours per year for the investigated locations to have more than 1000 cm-3 from the airport, with medians of about 104 cm-3.
The OpenSky network ADS-B database provides a new opportunity to estimate the aviation emission using the detailed flight trajectory data. The dataset will contribute to reducing the uncertainties in the development of emission inventory, and improve the air quality simulation in the vicinities of airports.

Keyphrases: ADS-B data, Aviation emission, black carbon, Particle number concentration

In: Christina Pöpper and Martin Strohmeier (editors). Proceedings of the 7th OpenSky Workshop 2019, vol 67, pages 109--116

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Xiaole Zhang and Xi Chen and Luchi Zhang and Jing Wang},
  title     = {A number-based inventory of particle emissions by civil aviation and the influences on the particle number concentration near Zurich airport},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 7th OpenSky Workshop 2019},
  editor    = {Christina P\textbackslash{}"opper and Martin Strohmeier},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {67},
  pages     = {109--116},
  year      = {2019},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/fqt3}}
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