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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-171
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-171
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Apr 2019

Research article | 23 Apr 2019

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

Impact of halogen chemistry on air quality in coastal and continental Europe: application of CMAQ model and implication for regulation

Qinyi Li1, Rafael Borge2, Golam Sarwar3, David de la Paz2, Brett Gantt4, Jessica Domingo2, Carlos A. Cuevas1, and Alfonso Saiz-Lopez1 Qinyi Li et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate, Institute of Physical Chemistry Rocasolano, CSIC, Madrid 28006, Spain
  • 2Environmental Modelling Laboratory, Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering ,Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain
  • 3National Exposure Research Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 4Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA

Abstract. Halogen (Cl, Br, and I) chemistry has been reported to influence the formation of secondary air pollutants. Previous studies mostly focused on the impact of chlorine species on air quality over large spatial scales. Very little attention has been paid to the effect of the combined halogen chemistry on air quality over Europe and its implications for control policy. In the present study, we utilize a widely-used regional model, the Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling System (CMAQ), incorporated with the latest halogen sources and chemistry, to simulate the abundance of halogen species over Europe and to examine the role of halogens in the formation of secondary air pollution. The results suggest that the CMAQ model is able to reproduce the level of O3, NO2, and halogen species over Europe. Chlorine chemistry slightly increases the levels of OH, HO2, NO3, O3, and NO2 and substantially enhances the level of Cl radical. Combined halogen chemistry reduces the HO2/OH ratio by decreasing the level of HO2 and increasing OH, significantly reduces the concentrations of NO3 and O3, and decreases NO2 in the highly polluted regions and increases NO2 in other areas. The maximum effects of halogen chemistry occur over oceanic and coastal regions, but some noticeable impacts also occur over continental Europe. Halogen chemistry affects the number of days exceeding the European Union target threshold for the protection of human being and vegetation from ambient O3. In light of the significant impact of halogen chemistry on air quality, we recommend that halogen chemistry be considered for inclusion in air quality policy assessments, particularly in coastal cities.

Qinyi Li et al.
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Short summary
The abundance and distribution of reactive halogen species and their impact on air quality in Europe are poorly understood. We adopt a state-of-the-art regional model (CMAQ) to evaluate such effect and the results demonstrate the significant influence of halogen chemistry on the capacity of atmospheric oxidation and the formation of air pollutants in coastal and continental Europe. Our study highlights the necessity to include halogen chemistry in the formulation of air pollution control policy.
The abundance and distribution of reactive halogen species and their impact on air quality in...
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