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Ozone Formation Potential of Organic Compounds in the Eastern United States:  A Comparison of Episodes, Inventories, and Domains

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journal contribution
posted on 15.12.2004, 00:00 by Amir Hakami, Michelle S. Bergin, Armistead G. Russell
Direct sensitivity analysis is applied for 3-D assessment of ozone reactivity (or ozone formation potential) in the Eastern United States. A detailed chemical mechanism (SAPRC-99) is implemented in a multiscale air quality model to calculate the reactivity of 32 explicit and 9 lumped compounds. Simulations are carried out for two different episodes and two different emission scenarios. While absolute reactivities of VOCs show a great deal of spatial variability, relative reactivities (normalized to the reactivity of a base mixture) produce a significantly more homogeneous field. Three types of domain-wide relative reactivity metrics are formed for 1-h and 8-h averaging intervals. In general, ozone reactivity metrics (with the exception of those based on daily peak ozone) are fairly robust and consistent between different episodes or emission scenarios. The 3-D metrics also show fairly similar rankings for VOC reactivity when compared to the box model scales. However, the 3-D metrics have a noticeably narrower range for species reactivities, as they result in lower reactivity for some of the more reactive, radical-producing VOCs (especially aldehydes). As expected, episodes and emission scenarios with less radical availability have higher absolute reactivities for all species and higher relative reactivities for the more radical-producing species. Finally, comparing the results with those from a different domain (central California) shows that relative reactivity metrics are comparable over these two significantly different domains.