Analyses of Atmospheric Pollutants in Atlanta and Hong Kong Using Observation-Based Methods

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Zhang, Jing
Chameides, William Lloyd
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There are two parts in this study. The first part is to test the validity of the assumption of thermodynamic equilibrium between fine particulate (PM2.5) nitrate and ammonium and gas-phase nitric acid (HNO3(g)) and ammonia (NH3(g)). A rough estimation of the characteristic time to achieve thermodynamic equilibrium is first carried out, which suggests that PM2.5 and gas-phase species are in thermodynamic equilibrium. Then equilibrium is tested by calculating the equilibrium concentrations of HNO3(g) and NH3(g) implied by the PM2.5 inorganic composition, temperature and relative humidity observed at the Atlanta Supersite 1999 using ISORROPIA model. The second part of this study is to analyze the ground-level ozone pollution precursor relationships in Hong Kong area. Characteristics of O3 precursors are explored. Trace gases NO and CO, VOCs, absorption coefficient, temperature and solar radiation are associated with the O3 formation. Specific VOC and VOC-sources that contribute most to the formation of photochemical smog are identified. The accuracy of pollutant emission inventories for Hong Kong and PRD region is also assessed. Combined with back trajectory information, dCO/dNOy is used to define whether O3 is locally or regionally occurred. An OBM is used to investigate the relative benefits of various emission-control strategies. Generally the formation of O3 throughout much of Hong Kong area is limited by VOC, in which reactive aromatics are dominant.
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