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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-397
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-397
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Aug 2018

Research article | 10 Aug 2018

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

Impact of VOCs on the formation of ozone in a central China city during severe pollution periods

Bowei Li1, Steven Sai Hang Ho2,3, Sunling Gong1,4, Jingwei Ni1, Huairui Li1, Liyan Han1, Yi Yang1, Yijin Qi1, and Dongxu Zhao1 Bowei Li et al.
  • 1Langfang Academy of Eco Industrialization for Wisedom Environment, Langfang 065000, China
  • 2Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada, USA
  • 3Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
  • 4Center for Atmosphere Watch and Services of CMA, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China

Abstract. In this work, a five-month sampling campaign was conducted for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for the first time in Zhengzhou City, Henan province, China, where ozone (O3) pollution has shown an increasing trend in recent years. Fifty-seven VOCs defined by the Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) were sampled using canister method. Meanwhile, other O3 precursor gases were monitored online at four different sites between the time period of May–September, 2017. The results indicated that the average mixing ratio of ΣPAMS (31.57±23.35ppbv) in Zhengzhou was lower than the other megacities in China, while alkyne was in a significantly higher proportion. The abundances, compositions and ratios of PAMS showed strong spatial and temporal variations. Alkenes were the largest contributors to the ozone formation potential (OFP). On clear days, higher O3 levels were often accompanied with high ΣPAMS/NOx ratio at each site, demonstrating that the VOCs were more sensitive during the O3 formation period in Zhengzhou. Furthermore, source apportionmemt was conducted with Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model, and it was found that the use of compressed natural gas (CNG), the evaporation of gasoline and the exhaust from vehicles were the important sources for ambient VOCs at all four sites. Besides, the meterological conditions and long-range transport from other surrounding provinces also had an impact on the air quality determined using the cluster analysis. It is worth mentioning that the reduction in VOCs' emissions is necessary to suppress the O3 pollution.

Bowei Li et al.
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Short summary
Ozone (O3) pollution has troubled Chinese cities. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important contributors in production of tropospheric O3. Identifying the local chemical species play vital role in O3 formation. The CNG usage, gasoline evaporation and vehicle exhaust were the important sources for ambient VOCs. This study provides the first-hand information on the characteristics of VOCs and assists in overcoming the O3 pollution issue in Zhengzhou city, China.
Ozone (O3) pollution has troubled Chinese cities. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are...
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