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Hydrocarbon reactivity and ozone formation in Europe

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Several studies have shown that in qualitative terms VOCs can be ranked in terms of their importance to ozone formation in Europe, using a so-called photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP). However, all studies showed significant variability in the quantitative POCP values assigned to each VOC species. In this paper, we make use of a complex photochemical oxidant model to quantify how the reaction time-scales of emitted VOC and their reaction products vary with geographical location and time of year. The model is used to evaluate monthly POCP values for 9 hydrocarbon and oxygenated VOC compounds for a cross-section across Europe. Calculations are presented to illustrate the gradients in POCP values of one species,n-butane, across the whole of Europe for April and June 1989. We discuss some of the factors responsible for these variations.

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Simpson, D. Hydrocarbon reactivity and ozone formation in Europe. J Atmos Chem 20, 163–177 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00696556

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Key words

  • Air pollution models
  • hydrocarbon reactivity
  • ozone
  • photo-oxidants
  • POCP values