Investigating the driving forces of NOx generation from energy consumption in China

Junfeng Wang*, Ye Qiu, Shutong He, Nan Liu, Chengyu Xiao, Lingxuan Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In China, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions have been declining in recent years, whereas NOx generation continues to increase. This has prompted a growing focus of policy design to inspect the driving mechanisms of NOx generation. In this study, a decomposition model of NOx generation in China from 1995 to 2014 was built using the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method. According to the decomposition results, technological effects (e.g., energy intensity and the sector generation factor) inhibited NOx generation in China, while gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was found to have the most positive effect on increasing NOx generation, accounting for 151.00% of the total change and showing an increasing trend in recent years. The sector structure of energy consumption always increased NOx generation, which contradicts the results of previous studies. All population effects considered in this study contributed to the growth in NOx generation. The population scale effect was increasingly impactful on the growth of NOx generation; the population spatial structure was active but less impactful. In general, technological impact cannot offset the increases caused by economic, structural, and population effects. Considering NOx reduction policy in China, more attention should be given to emission reduction policies, energy consumption, and socio-economic effects; together, these approaches will improve initiatives to reduce NOx.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-846
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Driving forces
  • LMDI
  • NOx generation
  • Population effects


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