Underestimated ozone production in cities: Higher HOx observed with self-developed instrument
The local ozone generation was greatly underestimated with current mechanism under high NOx conditions, according to a recent study conducted by researchers led by Prof. Xie Pinhua from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
This research, based on the observed concentration of HOx free radicals, has pointed a way toward future ozone pollution control. Related results were published on Science of the Total Environment.
Radicals are essential driving force of secondary pollution formation. Scientists have observed high concentrations of OH radicals in urban areas and established unconventional regeneration mechanisms. Severe underestimation of ozone formation is not accidental, due to regional variations in atmospheric oxidation and the shortcomings of existing box model mechanisms. So it is necessary to study atmospheric oxidation in different environments.
In view of this, following a one-month first in-situ HOx radicals measurement in the wintertime of Shanghai with a self-developed HOx instrument, Prof. Hu Renzhi and Ph.D. student Zhang Guoxian, a member of the team, conducted a closure analysis on megacity atmospheric chemical processes with a new box model. The level of HOx radicals they observed was higher than previous wintertime observations (OH: 2.7×106 cm-3, HO2: 0.8×108 cm-3).
Considering the overview of radical concentrations, reactivities and budget channels, they concluded that the complex carbonyls-related oxidation under elevated photochemistry was a possible factor for the discrepancy of the radical sources.
More information: Guoxian Zhang et al, Observation and simulation of HOx radicals in an urban area in Shanghai, China, Science of The Total Environment (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152275
Journal information: Science of the Total Environment
Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences