Quantifying air pollutant emission from agricultural machinery using surveys—a case study in Anhui, China

Yi Ai, Yunshan Ge, Zheng Ran, Xueyao Li, Zhibing Xu, Yangfan Chen, Xifeng Miao, Xiaohong Xu, Hongjun Mao, Zongbo Shi, Taosheng Jin

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Diesel-powered agricultural machinery (AM) is a significant contributor to air pollutant emissions, including nitrogen oxides (NO x ) and particulate matter (PM). However, the fuel consumption and pollutant emissions from AM remain poorly quantified in many countries due to a lack of accurate activity data and emissions factors. In this study, the fuel consumption and air pollutant emission from AM were estimated using a survey and emission factors from the literature. A case study was conducted using data collected in Anhui, one of the agricultural provinces of China. The annual active hours of AM in Anhui ranged 130 to 175 h. The estimated diesel fuel consumption by AM was 1.45 Tg in 2013, approximately 25% of the total diesel consumption in the province. The air pollutants emitted by AM were 57 Gg of carbon monoxide, 14 Gg of hydrocarbon, 74 Gg of NOx and 5.7 Gg of PM in 2013. The NOx and PM emissions from AM were equivalent to 17% and 22% of total on-road traffic emissions in Anhui. Among nine types of AM considered, rural vehicles are the largest contributors to fuel consumption (31%) and air emissions (33–45%).

Original languageEnglish
Article number440
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was sponsored by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0212100), Energy Foundation of China (G-1110-15063), National Engineering Laboratory for Mobile Source Emission Control Technology (NELMS2019A09), the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship Program, and Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Active time
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Fuel consumption
  • Gas pollutant
  • Non-road

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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