Urban and semirural observations of carboxylic acids and carbonyls

Kit Granby, C. S. Christensen, C. Lohse

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Abstract

In a busy street in Central Copenhagen winter mean concentrations (ppbv) were for formic acid, (0.7 ± 0.3); acetic acid, (1.2 ± 0.5); formaldehyde, (2.6 ± 0.7); acetaldehyde, (1.0 ± 0.7); and acetone, (1.0 ± 0.5). Simultaneous measurements at a semi-rural site 30 km west of Copenhagen showed mean concentrations (ppbv) of: formic acid, (0.6 ± 0.3); acetic acid, (1.0 ± 0.5); formaldehyde, (0.9 ± 0.5); acetaldehyde, (0.7 ± 0.4); and acetone, (0.9 ± 0.4). The similar concentrations of formic acid and acetic acid at the two sites in Denmark when NOy concentrations were one order of magnitude lower at the semi-rural site indicate that primary emission from automobiles was not an important source of the carboxylic acids. In a busy street in Brussels, Belgium summer mean concentrations (ppbv) were for formic acid, (3.6 ± 1.6) and acetic acid, (4.0 ± 2.0). Weaker diurnal variation of formic acid and acetic acid than of the directly emitted NOy and CO in both Copenhagen and Brussels further support sources of the carboxylic acids other than car traffic. For formaldehyde the strong correlations with gas NOy and CO indicate that direct emission from automobile is a source. Acetone shows similar concentrations at the urban and semirural sites and weak correlations with CO and gas NOy which indicate other sources than traffic emission. For acetone and the carboxylic acids the similar concentrations at the urban and semi-rural site may be explained by a regional photochemical source, i.e. oxidation of reactive hydrocarbons in polluted air masses carried to the region by long-range transport. Carboxylic acids; carbonyls; formic acid; acetic acid; formaldehyde; acetaldehyde; acetone; ambient air
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume31
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1403-1415
ISSN1352-2310
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

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