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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Apr 3;46(7):3973-80. doi: 10.1021/es2041465. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Anthropogenic atmospheric emissions of antimony and its spatial distribution characteristics in China.

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  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation & Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.


An integrated inventory of atmospheric antimony (Sb) emissions from anthropogenic activities in China is compiled for the years 2005-2009. Emissions are estimated for all major anthropogenic sources for the first time. We estimate that the national emissions of antimony are 818 metric tons (t) in 2009, with the largest contribution from coal combustion at 61.8% of the total, while 26.7% of Sb is emitted from nonferrous metals smelting. Emissions are heaviest in Guizhou province, mainly due to small-scale combustion of high-Sb coal without emission control devices, and in Hunan province, where extensive smelting occurs. Furthermore, Sb emissions from 2188 large point sources and area sources are distributed within latitude/longitude-based grids with a resolution of 30 min × 30 min where Sb emissions are largely concentrated in highly populated and industrialized southwestern China, the east central region, and coastal areas. The uncertainties in our bottom-up inventory are quantified as -11% to 40% by Monte Carlo simulation. We recommend continuous field testing of coal combustors and smelters in China to improve the accuracy of these estimates.

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