Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 9600–9614 | Cite as

Multi-perspective comparisons and mitigation implications of SO2 and NO x discharges from the industrial sector of China: a decomposition analysis

  • Junsong Jia
  • Zhihai Gong
  • Zhongyu Gu
  • Chundi Chen
  • Dongming Xie
Research Article


This study is the first attempt to investigate the drivers of Chinese industrial SO2 and NO x emissions from both periodic and structural perspectives through a decomposition analysis using the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI). The two pollutants’ emissions were decomposed into output effects, structural effects, clean production effects, and pollution abatement effects. The results showed that China’s industrial SO2 discharge increased by 1.14 Mt during 2003–2014, and the contributions from the four effects were 23.17, − 1.88, − 3.80, and − 16.36 Mt, respectively. Likewise, NO x discharge changed by − 3.44 Mt over 2011–2014, and the corresponding contributions from the four effects were 2.97, − 0.62, − 1.84, and − 3.95 Mt. Thus, the output effect was mainly responsible for the growth of the two discharges. The average annual contribution rates of SO2 and NO x from output were 14.33 and 5.97%, respectively, but pollution abatement technology presented the most obvious mitigating effects (− 10.11 and − 7.92%), followed by the mitigating effects of clean production technology (− 2.35 and − 3.7%), and the mitigation from the structural effect was the weakest (− 1.16 and − 1.25%, respectively), which meant pollutant reduction policies related to industrial structure adjustment should be a long-term measure for the two discharges. In addition, the sub-sectors of I20 (manufacture of raw chemical materials and chemical products), I24 (manufacture of non-metallic mineral products), and I26 (smelting and pressing of non-ferrous metals) were the major contributors to both discharges. Thus, these sub-sectors should be given priority consideration when designing mitigation-related measures. Last, some particular policy implications were recommended for reducing the two discharges, including that the government should seek a technological discharge reduction route.


Multi-perspective Decomposition analysis Industrial SO2 and NOx discharges LMDI China 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for providing helpful suggestions.

Author contributions

JS. J. and DM. X. designed the research. ZH. G., ZY. G., and CD. C. performed it and analyzed the result. JS. J. and ZH. G. wrote the text. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

We are also grateful for the financial support provided by the Chinese National Science Foundation (41001383, 71473113, 31360120, 51408584), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi (20151BAB203040), and Scientific or Technological Research Project of Jiangxi’s Education Department (GJJ14266).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1306_MOESM1_ESM.docx (484 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 484 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of EducationJiangxi Normal UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.School of Geography and EnvironmentJiangxi Normal UniversityNanchangChina
  3. 3.Graduate SchoolJiangxi Normal UniversityNanchangChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Reservoir Aquatic Environment, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesChongqingChina
  5. 5.Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal UniversityNanchangChina

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