Simulating secondary organic aerosol from missing diesel-related intermediate-volatility organic compound emissions during the Clean Air for London (ClearfLo) campaign

Riinu Ots, Dominique Young, Massimo Vieno, Lu Xu, Rachel E. Dunmore, James Allan, Hugh Coe, Leah R. Williams, Scott C. Herndon, Nga L. Ng, Jacqueline F. Hamilton, Robert Bergström, Chiara Di Marco, Eiko Nemitz, Ian A. Mackenzie, Jeroen J P Kuenen, David C. Green, Stefan Reis, Mathew R. Heal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    We present high-resolution (5g kmg × g 5g km) atmospheric chemical transport model (ACTM) simulations of the impact of newly estimated traffic-related emissions on secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation over the UK for 2012. Our simulations include additional diesel-related intermediate-volatility organic compound (IVOC) emissions derived directly from comprehensive field measurements at an urban background site in London during the 2012 Clean Air for London (ClearfLo) campaign. Our IVOC emissions are added proportionally to VOC emissions, as opposed to proportionally to primary organic aerosol (POA) as has been done by previous ACTM studies seeking to simulate the effects of these missing emissions. Modelled concentrations are evaluated against hourly and daily measurements of organic aerosol (OA) components derived from aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements also made during the ClearfLo campaign at three sites in the London area. According to the model simulations, diesel-related IVOCs can explain on average ∼30g % of the annual SOA in and around London. Furthermore, the 90th percentile of modelled daily SOA concentrations for the whole year is 3.8g μg-3, constituting a notable addition to total particulate matter. More measurements of these precursors (currently not included in official emissions inventories) is recommended. During the period of concurrent measurements, SOA concentrations at the Detling rural background location east of London were greater than at the central London location. The model shows that this was caused by an intense pollution plume with a strong gradient of imported SOA passing over the rural location. This demonstrates the value of modelling for supporting the interpretation of measurements taken at different sites or for short durations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6453-6473
    Number of pages21
    JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
    Volume16
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2016

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