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Influence of Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds on Ozone Production in Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Area

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2015.64039    2,915 Downloads   3,384 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Secondary pollutant ozone (O3) formation in a particular area is often influenced by various factors. Source of emissions is one of the factors. In south east Texas, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) is a marginal non-attainment area for ozone (O3). A summer episode of May 28 to July 2, 2006 is simulated using Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx). During this period O3 concentration in HGB often exceeds the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) 0.075 ppm of average 8 hour O3 concentration. HGB area has numerous point sources. Various studies found that some specific volatile organic compounds are very reactive in atmosphere. The objective of this study is to analyze the influence of volatile organic compounds present in point source emissions on the air quality of HGB area. For this purpose ozone sensitivity for HGB area is analyzed by the ratio of hydrogen peroxides (H2O2) to nitric acid (HNO3). HGB area is found NOx limited but reactive VOCs are found to be influential too. From (1-4 June, 2006) maximum O3 concentration was found on weekend, June 3. VOCs such as Acetaldehyde (ALD2), Formaldehyde (FORM) and Alkane (ETHA) showed good correlation with O3 concentrations on that day. In addition, Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) formation was found correlated to higher ozone production. Criteria pollutant Sulfur dioxide (SO2) was found to influence the ALD2 and ETHA concentrations, and thus indirectly influenced O3 production.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Sarker, S. , Kommalapati, R. and Huque, Z. (2015) Influence of Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds on Ozone Production in Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Area. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 399-408. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.64039.

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