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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-817
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-817
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 25 Oct 2019

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

Sources of volatile organic compounds and policy implications for regional ozone pollution control in an urban location of Nanjing, East China

Qiuyue Zhao1,2, Jun Bi1, Zhenghao Ling3, Qian Liu2, Guofeng Shen4, Feng Chen2, Yuezhen Qiao2, Chunyan Li2, and Zongwei Ma1 Qiuyue Zhao et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences, Nanjing 8210036, China
  • 3School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • 4College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Abstract. Understanding the composition, temporal variability, and source apportionment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is necessary for determining effective control measures to minimize VOCs and its related photochemical pollution. To provide a comprehensive analysis of VOC sources and their contributions to ozone (O3) formation in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) – a region experiencing highest rates of industrial and economic development in China, we conducted a one-year sampling exercise for the first time at an urban site in Nanjing (JAES site). Alkanes were the dominant group at the JAES site, contributing ~ 53 % to the observed total VOCs, followed by aromatics (~ 17 %), acetylene (~ 17 %), and alkenes (~ 13 %). We identified seasonal variability in TVOCs with maximum and minimum concentrations in winter and summer, respectively. A morning and evening peak and a daytime trough were identified in the diurnal VOCs patterns. We identified the source apportionments of VOCs and their contributions to photochemical O3 formation using the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) and observation-based model together with a Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM). The PMF model identified five dominant VOC sources, with highest contributions from diesel vehicular exhausts (34 ± 5 %), followed by gasoline vehicular exhausts (27 ± 3 %), industrial emissions (19 ± 2 %), fuel evaporation (15 ± 2 %) and biogenic emissions (4 ± 1 %). The results from the OBM-MCM model simulation inferred photochemical O3 formation to be VOC-limited at the JAES site when considering both the reactivity and abundance of the individual VOC species in each source category. Further, VOCs from vehicular and industrial emissions were found to be the dominant control on O3 formation, particularly the VOC species m,p-xylene, toluene and propene, which top priorities should be given to the alleviation of photochemical smog. However, when considering the reactivity and abundance of VOC species, the contribution of biogenic emissions to O3 pollution was significantly reduced. Our results therefore highlight the need to consider both the abundance and reactivity of individual VOC species in order to develop effective control strategies to minimize photochemical pollution in Nanjing.

Qiuyue Zhao et al.
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Short summary
Understanding the composition, temporal variability, and source apportionment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is necessary for determining effective control measures to minimize VOCs and its related photochemical pollution. This study conducted source apportionments of VOCs and evaluated their contributions to ozone formation at an urban site in Nanjing with data from one-year field measurement.
Understanding the composition, temporal variability, and source apportionment of volatile...
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