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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1260
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1260
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Mar 2019

Research article | 08 Mar 2019

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

Characteristics of wintertime VOCs in suburban and urban Beijing: concentrations, emission ratios, and festival effects

Kun Li1,2,3, Junling Li1,2, Shengrui Tong1,2, Weigang Wang1,2, Ru-Jin Huang4, and Maofa Ge1,2,5 Kun Li et al.
  • 1Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3Air Quality Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4, Canada
  • 4Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics, State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 5Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China

Abstract. Measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were performed at a suburban site and an urban site in Beijing during the winter of 2014–2015. The VOC concentrations and emission ratios (ERs) to CO were compared at these two sites. It is found that though the VOC concentrations at the urban site are 2.67 ± 1.15 times of those at the suburban site, the ERs are similar (within a factor of 1.5). It is indicated that: (1) the VOCs at suburban areas are mainly from the transportation from the urban areas; (2) the ERs measured at the urban areas are also valid for the surrounding suburban areas. By comparing the diurnal variations and the contribution of anthropogenic emissions at both sites, we find that the photochemical processes are very active at the urban site, and these processes play an important role in the daytime oxygenated VOCs (OVOCs) formation. The methanol at the urban site and the formic acid at the suburban site probably have additional sources, which are attributed to be solvent use and soil/agriculture, respectively. The festival effects from Chinese New Year (CNY) were investigated. The VOC concentrations decreased ~ 60 % during CNY holidays, probably due to the population migration during festival holidays. In addition, fireworks are found to be an important source of acetonitrile, aromatics, and some OVOCs during CNY festival, and should be controlled more strictly. This study provides key characteristics of wintertime VOCs in suburban and urban Beijing, and has implications for better understanding the atmospheric chemistry of VOCs in and around this megacity.

Kun Li et al.
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Short summary
Wintertime volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in suburban and urban Beijing were measured. Urban VOC concentrations were much higher than suburban, but the emission features were similar. The photochemical processes were more active in the urban site, resulting in the high daytime formation of oxygenated VOCs. In addition, human activities during holidays can largely influence the VOC levels. These results are helpful in better understanding the atmospheric chemistry of VOCs in Beijing.
Wintertime volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in suburban and urban Beijing were measured. Urban...
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