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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Dec 2018

Research article | 11 Dec 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Inter-comparison of O3 formation and radical chemistry in the past decade at a suburban site in Hong Kong

Xufei Liu1, Xiaopu Lyu1, Yu Wang1, Fei Jiang2, and Hai Guo1 Xufei Liu et al.
  • 1Air Quality Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • 2Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, International Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

Abstract. Hong Kong, as one of the densely populated metropolises in East Asia, has been suffering from severe photochemical smog in the past decades, though the observed nitrogen oxides (NOx) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) were significantly reduced. This study, based on the observation data in the autumns of 2007, 2013 and 2016, investigated the photochemical ozone (O3) formation and radical chemistry during the three sampling periods in Hong Kong with the aid of a Photochemical Box Model incorporating the Master Chemical Mechanism (PBM-MCM). Neither the observed O3 nor the simulated locally produced O3 changed significantly (p=0.11 and 0.99, respectively) from 2007 to 2013; however, both of which decreased (p<0.05) from the VOC sampling days in 2013 to those in 2016 at a rate of −5.04±0.05 and −4.35±0.10ppbvyr−1, respectively. The regionally transported O3 showed an increase (rate=1.62±0.39ppbvyr−1, p<0.05) during 2007–2013, but slight decrease (p=0.09) from 2013 to 2016. The mitigation of autumn O3 pollution in this region was further confirmed by the continuous monitoring data, which has never been reported in previous studies. Benefited from the air pollution control measures taken in Hong Kong, the local O3 production rate decreased remarkably (p<0.05) from 2007 to 2016, along with the lowering of recycling rate of hydroxyl radical (OH). Specifically, VOCs emitted from the source of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) usage and gasoline evaporation decreased in this decade at a rate of −2.61±0.03ppbvyr−1, leading to a reduction of the O3 production rate from 0.51±0.11ppbvh−1 in 2007 to 0.10±0.02ppbvh−1 in 2016. In addition, solvent usage made decreasing contributions to both VOCs (rate=−2.29±0.03ppbvyr−1) and local O3 production rate (1.22±0.17 and 0.14±0.05ppbvh−1 in 2007 and 2016, respectively) in the same period. All the rates reported here were for the VOC sampling days in the three sampling campaigns. It is noteworthy that meteorological changes also play important roles in the inter-annual variations of the observed O3 and the simulated O3 production rates. Evaluations with more data in longer periods are therefore recommended. The analyses on the decadal changes of the local and regional photochemistry in Hong Kong in this study may be a reference for combating China’s national-wide O3 pollution in near future.

Xufei Liu et al.
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