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Volume 16, issue 23
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 14825–14842, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-14825-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 14825–14842, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-14825-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 29 Nov 2016

Research article | 29 Nov 2016

Temporal variability and sources of VOCs in urban areas of the eastern Mediterranean

Christos Kaltsonoudis1,2, Evangelia Kostenidou1, Kalliopi Florou1,2, Magda Psichoudaki1,2, and Spyros N. Pandis1,2,3 Christos Kaltsonoudis et al.
  • 1Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, ICE-HT, Patras, 26500, Greece
  • 2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, 26504, Greece
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 15213, USA

Abstract. During the summer of 2012 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were monitored by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) in urban sites, in Athens and Patras, two of the largest cities in Greece. Also, during the winter of 2013, PTR-MS measurements were conducted in the center of the city of Athens. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to the VOC measurements to gain insights about their sources.

In summer most of the measured VOCs were due to biogenic and traffic emissions. Isoprene, monoterpenes, and several oxygenated VOCs (oVOCs) originated mainly from vegetation either directly or as oxidation products. Isoprene average concentrations in Patras and Athens were 1 and 0.7 ppb respectively, while the monoterpene concentrations were 0.3 and 0.9 ppb respectively. Traffic was the main source of aromatic compounds during summer. For Patras and Athens the average concentrations of benzene were 0.1 and 0.2 ppb, of toluene 0.3 and 0.8 ppb, and of the xylenes 0.3 and 0.7 ppb respectively.

Winter measurements in Athens revealed that biomass burning used for residential heating was a major VOC source contributing both aromatic VOCs and biogenic compounds such as monoterpenes. Several episodes related to biomass burning were identified and emission ratios (ERs) and emission factors (EFs) were estimated.

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Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were monitored in urban backgrounds sites, in Athens and Patras in Greece. In summer most of the measured VOCs were due to biogenic and traffic emissions. Winter measurements in Athens revealed that biomass burning used for residential heating was the dominant VOC source. The biomass burning VOC emission ratios and emission factors were estimated.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were monitored in urban backgrounds sites, in Athens and...
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