Inln_mole emission file to emis_mole

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reading. I am using NEI 2016 V1 platform to generate 2016 emissions for the US. Now I got every sector complete and trying to merge the emissions for CMAQ. But for all point emissions, I got daily emission files started with “inln_mole…” while the merge program seems to need those sector with final file started with “emis_mole”. I am not sure if there is any program can covert “inln_mole_" output to "emis_mole_” output. Or how should I merge those point source emission into CMAQ emission files?

Hope to receive your help.


Those “inln_mole_” output files from point sources are designed to be treated as inline elevated sources for CMAQ to compute internally plume rise calculations for a proper vertical allocation. Check CMAQ user’s guide to find out the details on how to setup inline sources.

For whatever reasons, if you still need to convert to 2d emissions files like “emis_mole” output files, you can use the SMOKE utility tool called “inline2D” that allows users to combine
“inlin_emis” with paired “stack_group” output files.

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Thanks for your help. One more quick question. What if those point sources that only have few days inln_mole_* outputs and one stack_group_* output file (such as pt_oilgas)? Do I need to manually change the date if I want to use inline output to generate 2d emission files?

You don’t have to merge the point emissions files as CMAQ can accept multiple point files.

What version of CMAQ are you running?

Thanks for reply. I am using CMAQ 5.0.1. I want to generate the gridded emissions for point source since I would like to see the spatial plot of these point emissions and also want to merge them into single emission file for CMAQ. so how could I do to generate the 2d emission file respecting with inln_mole and stack_group files I got from NEI platform?

Hi Alison,

Thanks for reading. I am still wondering that if there is any method to generate the daily 2d emission for point source in NEI 2016 V1 platform? For some sector (such as othpt), I only got four outputs of inln_mole_xx (July 11, 12 16,17) when I submit a whole month (July) job. How could I convert these kind of emission outputs to 2d CMAQ ready file? Hope to receive your help. Thanks.


The reason you would only get that number of days because the emissions are only different for the representative days.

If you prefer to generate emissions for all days, you can do this in the scripts used to generate them:

  • For ptnonipm, pt_oilgas, othpt, airports: set M_TYPE = all and leave L_TYPE as it is

  • For any other sector: set both M_TYPE and L_TYPE = all

Support of inln files started with CMAQ 4.7. We have never had to merge inln files, so we are pretty sure that you provide multiple inln files for your runs.

We don’t think that you really want to put your point source data from the inln files into 2D emissions files because then you will lose the plume rise from these sources.

If you are wanting to do this for visualization purposes only, please let us know.

Thanks for your help. The reason I want to convert inln output to 2d (event) 3d output is that I want to plot out the emissions and check their plume rise.
For example the ptfire. I had run ptfire3d to get the ncf output file that I can plot both 2d and vertical profiles of this emission, am I wrong with this purpose. Or is their any other method could show this information?

OK, thanks for explaining the purpose. There is a SMOKE tool which will convert inline to gridded 2-D files (inlineto2D - but that won’t help you visualize the 3D aspects of this.

If you want to visualize the vertical structure of fires [or another sector] to check the plume rise you will need to process the emissions with laypoint turned on so that the plume rise is calculated in SMOKE and can be viewed [in VERDI or some other visualization tool]

As @eyth.alison said, there is a Laypoint program in SMOKE to generate the 3D emissions. Also, you can run CMAQ inline with these inline/stackgroup sectors and turn on the point diagnostic output files from CMAQ which generates the 3D emissions output files. It will have a slightly different vertical allocation since the CMAQ interval time step is shorter than the SMOKE one-hour time step. That is just my 2 cents.

Thanks for your help. How could I turn on the laypoint program based on the 2016 v1 platform script? In case of ptfire, is it the same as the results from running ptfire3d?

Thanks for your suggestion. I will try in both way and check how they work.


Yes for fires it is the same as ptfire3d like we do in preparation for CAMx modeling.

I wasn’t sure you were only asking about fires.

Thanks for your answer, I plan to run for all point source so just check if they all similar to what is been done for ptfire as ptfire3d. If I want to do so for all point sources, how could I turn on the laypoint based the prepared script in 2016V1 platform.

And is the prepared ptfire3d work for CMAQ instead of CAMx?

The plume rise is different for fires than it is for other point sources. Because CAMx doesn’t have the same fire plume rise algorithm, we run fires in 3D when we are doing CAMx modeling. CMAQ does the fire plume rise inln so it doesn’t need to be done for them. You could look at the run_settings.txt file to turn on laypoint but normally it is not necessary. I can try to find more detailed instructions if that isn’t clear enough.

Thanks for your suggestion, I will try and let you know how it works. Thank you very much.


Here is more information: To run a point sector with layering / Laypoint instead of inline, change the following settings:

setenv M_TYPE “all” (do not change L_TYPE)

setenv INLINE_MODE “off”

setenv ELEVPOINT_DAILY “” (blank)

setenv SMK_EMLAYS “35” (or however many layers are in your met data)


setenv ZIPOUT “Y” (gzips the outputs, since unzipped 3-D emissions are very large)

Hi Alison,

In SMOKE user guide, I found “Set SMK_EMLAYS to the number of layers you need for your emissions files (usually up to the
layer that includes 2000 meters, unless you are using explicit plume rise, in which case the layer
that includes the maximum plume height of the precomputed plume top)”. If my met data is 35, should I set 35 or 20 (include 2000meters).

Thank you in advance.

What AQ model are you running? Are you wanting to pass your AQ model layered emissions? Or are you wanting the model to do the plume rise?

I am using WRF/Chem. Yes, want to pass it layered emissions. I think I need 3D point source emissions for it.