Projections of NH3 emissions from manure generated by livestock production in China to 2030 under six mitigation scenarios

Peng Xu, Sotiria Koloutsou-Vakakis, Mark J. Rood, Shengji Luan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


China's rapid urbanization, large population, and increasing consumption of calorie-and meat-intensive diets, have resulted in China becoming the world's largest source of ammonia (NH3) emissions from livestock production. This is the first study to use provincial, condition-specific emission factors based on most recently available studies on Chinese manure management and environmental conditions. The estimated NH3 emission temporal trends and spatial patterns are interpreted in relation to government policies affecting livestock production. Scenario analysis is used to project emissions and estimate mitigation potential of NH3 emissions, to year 2030. We produce a 1 km × 1 km gridded NH3 emission inventory for 2008 based on county-level activity data, which can help identify locations of highest NH3 emissions. The total NH3 emissions from manure generated by livestock production in 2008 were 7.3 Tg NH3·yr− 1 (interquartile range from 6.1 to 8.6 Tg NH3·yr− 1), and the major sources were poultry (29.9%), pigs (28.4%), other cattle (27.9%), and dairy cattle (7.0%), while sheep and goats (3.6%), donkeys (1.3%), horses (1.2%), and mules (0.7%) had smaller contributions. From 1978 to 2008, annual NH3 emissions fluctuated with two peaks (1996 and 2006), and total emissions increased from 2.2 to 7.3 Tg·yr− 1 increasing on average 4.4%·yr− 1. Under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, NH3 emissions in 2030 are expected to be 13.9 Tg NH3·yr− 1 (11.5–16.3 Tg NH3·yr− 1). Under mitigation scenarios, the projected emissions could be reduced by 18.9–37.3% compared to 2030 BAU emissions. This study improves our understanding of NH3 emissions from livestock production, which is needed to guide stakeholders and policymakers to make well informed mitigation decisions for NH3 emissions from livestock production at the country and regional levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Dec 31 2017


  • Ammonia emissions
  • Livestock manure
  • Mitigation scenarios
  • Policies analysis
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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