Articles | Volume 13, issue 17
Research article
04 Sep 2013
Research article |  | 04 Sep 2013

VOC emissions, evolutions and contributions to SOA formation at a receptor site in eastern China

B. Yuan, W. W. Hu, M. Shao, M. Wang, W. T. Chen, S. H. Lu, L. M. Zeng, and M. Hu

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured by two online instruments (GC-FID/MS and PTR-MS) at a receptor site on Changdao Island (37.99° N, 120.70° E) in eastern China. Reaction with OH radical dominated chemical losses of most VOC species during the Changdao campaign. A photochemical-age-based parameterization method is used to calculate VOC emission ratios and to quantify the evolution of ambient VOCs. The calculated emission ratios of most hydrocarbons agree well with those obtained from emission inventory data, but determined emission ratios of oxygenated VOCs (OVOCs) are significantly higher than those from emission inventory data. The photochemical-age-based parameterization method is also used to investigate primary emissions and secondary formation of organic aerosol. The primary emission ratio of organic aerosol (OA) to CO is determined to be 14.9 μg m−3 ppm−1, and secondary organic aeorosols (SOA) are produced at an enhancement ratio of 18.8 μg m−3 ppm−1 to CO after 50 h of photochemical processing in the atmosphere. SOA formation is significantly higher than the level determined from VOC oxidation under both high-NOx (2.0 μg m−3 ppm−1 CO) and low-NOx conditions (6.5 μg m−3 ppm−1 CO). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and higher alkanes (> C10) account for as high as 17.4% of SOA formation, which suggests semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) may be a large contributor to SOA formation during the Changdao campaign. The SOA formation potential of primary VOC emissions determined from field campaigns in Beijing and Pearl River Delta (PRD) is lower than the measured SOA levels reported in the two regions, indicating SOA formation is also beyond explainable by VOC oxidation in the two city clusters.

Final-revised paper