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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1111
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1111
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Nov 2020

09 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Reactive Organic Carbon Emissions from Volatile Chemical Products

Karl M. Seltzer1, Elyse Pennington2,3, Venkatesh Rao4, Benjamin N. Murphy5, Madeleine Strum4, Kristin K. Isaacs5, and Havala O. T. Pye5 Karl M. Seltzer et al.
  • 1Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Postdoctoral Fellow in the Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
  • 2Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow in the Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
  • 3California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125
  • 4Office of Air and Radiation, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
  • 5Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711

Abstract. Volatile chemical products (VCPs) are an increasingly important source of anthropogenic reactive organic carbon (ROC) emissions. Among these sources are everyday items, such as personal care products, general cleaners, architectural coatings, pesticides, adhesives, and printing inks. Here, we develop VCPy, a new framework to model organic emissions from VCPs throughout the United States, including spatial allocation to regional and local scales. Evaporation of species in the VCPy framework is a function of the compound specific physiochemical properties that govern volatilization and the timescale relevant for product evaporation. We introduce the terms evaporation timescale and use timescale, respectively, to describe these processes. Using this framework, predicted national, per-capita organic emissions from VCPs are 9.7 kg person−1 year−1 (6.5 kgC person−1 year−1) for 2016, which translates to 3.12 Tg (2.10 TgC), making VCPs a dominant source of anthropogenic organic emissions in the United States. Uncertainty associated with this framework and sensitivity to select parameters were characterized through Monte Carlo analysis, resulting in a 95 % confidence interval of national VCP emissions for 2016 of 2.68–3.60 Tg (1.81–2.42 TgC). This nationwide total is broadly consistent with the US EPA's 2017 National Emission Inventory (NEI); however, county-level and categorical estimates can differ substantially from NEI values. VCPy predicts larger VCP emissions than the NEI for approximately half of all counties, with 5 % of all counties featuring increases > 60%. Categorically, personal care products (150 %) and paints/coatings (34 %) feature the largest increases, whereas pesticides (−54 %) and printing inks (−13 %) feature the largest decreases. An observational evaluation indicates emissions of key species from VCPs are reproduced with high fidelity in the methods employed here (normalized mean bias of −13 % with r = 0.95). Sector-wide, the effective secondary organic aerosol yield and maximum incremental reactivity of VCPs are 5.3 % by mass and 1.59 g O3 g−1, respectively, indicating VCPs are an important, and likely underrepresented to-date, source of secondary pollution in urban environments.

Karl M. Seltzer et al.

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Karl M. Seltzer et al.

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Short summary
Volatile chemical products (VCPs) are an increasingly important source of anthropogenic reactive organic carbon emissions. Here, we develop VCPy, a new framework to model organic emissions from VCPs throughout the United States. At the national-level, VCPy emissions are broadly consistent with the US EPA's 2017 National Emission Inventory, however county-level and categorical estimates can differ substantially. An observational evaluation indicates high fidelity in the methods employed here.
Volatile chemical products (VCPs) are an increasingly important source of anthropogenic reactive...
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