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Ozone Formation Potentials of Volatile Organic Compounds and Ozone Sensitivity to Their Emission in the Megacity of São Paulo, Brazil

Martins, Leila Droprinchinski, Andrade, Maria de Fátima
Water, air, and soil pollution 2008 v.195 no.1-4 pp. 201-213
aromatic compounds, cities, combustion, emissions, ethylene, formaldehyde, fossil fuels, models, olefin, ozone, vehicles, volatile organic compounds, Brazil
In the present study, a three-dimensional Eulerian photochemical model was employed to estimate the impact that organic compounds have on tropospheric ozone formation in the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo (MASP). In the year 2000, base case simulations were conducted in two periods: August 22-24 and March 13-15. Based on the pollutant concentrations calculated by the model, the correlation coefficient relative to observations for ozone ranged from 0.91 to 0.93 in both periods. In the simulations employed to evaluate the ozone potential of individual VOCs, as well as the sensitivity of ozone to the VOC/NO x emission ratio, the variation in anthropogenic emissions was estimated at 15% (according to tests performed previously variations of 15% were stable). Although there were significant differences between the two periods, ozone concentrations were found to be much more sensitive to VOCs than to NO x in both periods and throughout the study domain. In addition, considering their individual rates of emission from vehicles, the species/classes that were most important for ozone formation were as follows: aromatics with a kOH > 2 x 10⁴ ppm⁻¹ min⁻¹; olefins with a kOH < 7 x 10⁴ ppm⁻¹ min⁻¹; olefins with a kOH > 7 x 10⁴ ppm⁻¹ min⁻¹; ethene; and formaldehyde, which are the principal species related to the production, transport, storage and combustion of fossil fuels.