Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Title: Yields and reactions of intermediate compounds formed from the initial atmospheric reactions of selected VOCs.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Atkinson, Roger

Contractor: UC Riverside

Contract Number: 96-306

Research Program Area: Atmospheric Processes

Topic Areas: Chemistry & Reactivity


This contract had three project elements dealing with aspects of the atmospheric chemistry of volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds. Project Element No. 1 concerned the investigation of ambient NO3 radical levels in the Los Angeles Air Basin during the 1997 Southern California Ozone Study (SCOS97-NARSTO), using the formation of nitronaphthalenes and methylnitronaphthalenes (MNNs) as a sensitive indicator of the presence of NO3 radicals during nighttime. Naphthalene, 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene and biphenyl and their nitro-derivatives formed from atmospheric reactions: 1- and 2-nitronaphthalene, the 14 MNNs and 3- nitrobiphenyl were monitored in 12-hour daytime and 12-hour nighttime samples during the intensive sampling days of the SCOS97-NARSTO ozone study at three sites in the Los Angeles Air Basin, Azusa, Riverside and Banning. Evidence for the presence of NO3 radicals is presented. Project Element No. 2 involved the participation of Roger Atkinson in the Coordinating Research Council, Inc., Review Panel for the Atmospheric Chemistry of Hydrocarbons (RPACH). This data review panel was set up to carry out detailed reviews and evaluations of the literature data concerning the atmospheric chemistry of the various classes of VOCs of importance in photochemical air pollution, with this review and evaluation being concerned with the atmospheric chemistry of alkenes. This review and evaluation of alkene chemistry has been published by Oxford University Press, "The Mechanisms of Atmospheric Oxidation of the Alkenes," J. G. Calvert, R. Atkinson, J. A. Kerr, S. Madronich, G. K. Moortgat, T. J. Wallington, and G. Yarwood, 2000. Project Element No. 3 was the preparation of two review chapters for the North American Research in Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO) assessment document and included as part of this effort a subcontract to Dr. Marcia C. Dodge. The two critical review papers dealt with the following topics: the current status of the kinetics, mechanisms and products of the atmospheric reactions of VOCs and NOx (Roger Atkinson); and the "smog" chamber data-base and current programs in this area and the status of chemical mechanisms for air quality simulation models (Marcia C. Dodge). These NARSTO review papers have been published in a common volume in Atmospheric Environment, Volume 34, issues 12-14, pp. 2063-2101 and pp. 2103-2130, respectively (2000).


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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