Mechanisms of Urban Ozone Pollution

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 September 2024 | Viewed by 2792

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
Interests: air quality modeling; stratospheric intrusion; ozone and PM2.5 co-control
School of Atmospheric Sciences, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, China
Interests: ozone; aerosol; numerical simulation; source apportionment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Optical Remote Sensing Lab, The City College of New York, 140 street at Convent Ave., Steinman Hall T-513, New York, NY 10031, USA
Interests: air pollution; plume transport; lidar; remote sensing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The complexity of ozone formation creates several challenges for policy-makers in formulating an effective ozone pollution control strategy. Continued exacerbation of ozone pollution because of climate change have highlighted the dire need to better understand the physical and chemical processes that increase the levels of ozone pollution. Delineating the complex photochemical process leading to ozone formation, identifying the relationship between ozone pollution and meteorology, and quantifying the ozone contribution of different source categories and source regions can help to guide contingency control measures for ozone de-spiking over the major city clusters worldwide. This Special Issue of Atmosphere will consider high-quality papers that advance a better understanding of the mechanism of urban ozone pollution.

This Special Issue calls for original research papers on urban ozone pollution, including field observations, air quality model, smog chamber simulation, and machine learning. Some potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The formation and transport of ozone in the atmosphere;
  2. Ozone pollution control;
  3. Interaction between ozone pollution and meteorology;
  4. Observation of ozone and its precursors;
  5. Ozone source apportionment in the urban area;
  6. Interactions between ozone and aerosols;

Dr. Kaihui Zhao
Dr. Jinhui Gao
Dr. Yonghua Wu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • ozone pollution meteorology
  • ozone pollution control measures and policies
  • ozone source apportionment
  • ozone pollution modeling
  • ozone precursors sensitive
  • observations of ozone and its precursors

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 5404 KiB  
Article
Elucidating the Effects of COVID-19 Lockdowns in the UK on the O3-NOx-VOC Relationship
by Rayne Holland, Katya Seifert, Eric Saboya, M. Anwar H. Khan, Richard G. Derwent and Dudley E. Shallcross
Atmosphere 2024, 15(5), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15050607 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
The unprecedented reductions in anthropogenic emissions over the COVID-19 lockdowns were utilised to investigate the response of ozone (O3) concentrations to changes in its precursors across various UK sites. Ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx (NO+NO2) data [...] Read more.
The unprecedented reductions in anthropogenic emissions over the COVID-19 lockdowns were utilised to investigate the response of ozone (O3) concentrations to changes in its precursors across various UK sites. Ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx (NO+NO2) data were obtained for a 3-year period encompassing the pandemic period (January 2019–December 2021), as well as a pre-pandemic year (2017), to better understand the contribution of precursor emissions to O3 fluctuations. Compared with pre-lockdown levels, NO and NO2 declined by up to 63% and 42%, respectively, over the lockdown periods, with the most significant changes in pollutant concentrations recorded across the urban traffic sites. O3 levels correspondingly increased by up to 30%, consistent with decreases in the [NO]/[NO2] ratio for O3 concentration response. Analysis of the response of O3 concentrations to the NOx reductions suggested that urban traffic, suburban background and suburban industrial sites operate under VOC-limited regimes, while urban background, urban industrial and rural background sites are NOx-limited. This was in agreement with the [VOC]/[NOx] ratios determined for the London Marylebone Road (LMR; urban traffic) site and the Chilbolton Observatory (CO; rural background) site, which produced values below and above 8, respectively. Conversely, [VOC]/[NOx] ratios for the London Eltham (LE; suburban background) site indicated NOx-sensitivity, which may suggest the [VOC]/[NOx] ratio for O3 concentration response may have had a slight NOx-sensitive bias. Furthermore, O3 concentration response with [NO]/[NO2] and [VOC]/[NOx] were also investigated to determine their relevance and accuracy in identifying O3-NOx-VOC relationships across UK sites. While the results obtained via utilisation of these metrics would suggest a shift in photochemical regime, it is likely that variation in O3 during this period was primarily driven by shifts in oxidant (OX; NO2 + O3) equilibrium as a result of decreasing NO2, with increased O3 transported from Europe likely having some influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Urban Ozone Pollution)
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29 pages, 8429 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Robustness of Ozone Chemical Regimes to Chemistry-Transport Model Configurations
by Elsa Real, Florian Couvidat, Adrien Chantreux, Athanasios Megaritis, Giuseppe Valastro and Augustin Colette
Atmosphere 2024, 15(5), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15050532 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 493
Abstract
In a previous study, we assessed the efficiency of reducing either traffic or industrial emissions on various ozone metrics for several cities in Europe, based on the Air Control Toolbox surrogate model. Here, we perform various model parametrisation sensitivity analyses in order to [...] Read more.
In a previous study, we assessed the efficiency of reducing either traffic or industrial emissions on various ozone metrics for several cities in Europe, based on the Air Control Toolbox surrogate model. Here, we perform various model parametrisation sensitivity analyses in order to assess the robustness of our results. We find that increasing the model resolution has a limited impact on the ozone response to emission changes when focusing on concentration peaks but strongly changes the response of the ozone daily mean with a switch to a titration regime for all zones with significant nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The impact of pollution imported from outside the simulation domain was also studied and we show that if the first lever for action on ozone peaks remains as the reduction of local and regional emissions, in order to achieve higher levels of reduction, it is necessary to act at a European level. We also explore more up-to-date temporal profiles and sectoral emission speciation and find a shift towards a more NOx-limited regime in a number of cities. Overall, these sensitivity tests show that most of the differences are simulated in cities with high NOx emissions and little solar radiation but do not change the overall conclusions that were previously obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Urban Ozone Pollution)
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23 pages, 6168 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Investigation of the Characteristics of Nocturnal Ozone Enhancement Events and Their Effects on Ground-Level Ozone and PM2.5 in the Central City of the Yellow River Delta, China, in 2022 and 2023
by Cong An, Yongxin Yan, Xiaoshuai Gao, Xiaoyu Yan, Yuanyuan Ji, Fanyi Shang, Jidong Li, Luyao Tan, Rui Gao, Fang Bi and Hong Li
Atmosphere 2024, 15(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15040475 - 11 Apr 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
In recent years, nocturnal ozone enhancement (NOE) events have emerged as a prominent research focus in the field of the atmospheric environment. By using statistical analysis methods, we conducted a comparative investigation of nocturnal ozone concentrations and NOE events in Dongying, the central [...] Read more.
In recent years, nocturnal ozone enhancement (NOE) events have emerged as a prominent research focus in the field of the atmospheric environment. By using statistical analysis methods, we conducted a comparative investigation of nocturnal ozone concentrations and NOE events in Dongying, the central city of the Yellow River Delta, China, in 2022 and 2023, and further explored the effects of NOE events on O3 and PM2.5 on the same night and the subsequent day. The results showed that from 2022 to 2023, in Dongying, the annual average nocturnal ozone concentrations increased from 51 μg/m3 to 59 μg/m3, and the frequency of NOE events was higher in the spring, summer, and autumn, and lower in the winter. The NOE events not only exhibited promoting effects on nocturnal O3 and Ox, and on the daily maximum 8 h average concentration of O3 (MDA8-O3) on the same day (comparatively noticeable in summer and autumn), but also demonstrated a clear impact on nocturnal PM2.5 and PM2.5-bounded NO3 and SO42− (especially in winter). Additionally, the NOE events also led to higher concentrations of O3 and Ox, as well as higher MDA8-O3 levels during the subsequent day, with more observable impacts in the summer. The results could strengthen our understanding about NOE events and provide a scientific basis for the collaborative control of PM2.5 and O3 in urban areas in the Yellow River Delta in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Urban Ozone Pollution)
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16 pages, 1614 KiB  
Article
Prioritization of Volatile Organic Compound Reduction in the Tire Manufacturing Industry through Speciation of Volatile Organic Compounds Emitted at the Fenceline
by Hyo Eun Lee, Jeong Hun Kim, Daram Seo and Seok J. Yoon
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020223 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with their ubiquitous presence across numerous global industries, pose multifaceted challenges, influencing air pollution and health outcomes. In response, countries such as the United States and Canada have implemented fenceline monitoring systems, enabling real-time tracking of organic solvents, including [...] Read more.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with their ubiquitous presence across numerous global industries, pose multifaceted challenges, influencing air pollution and health outcomes. In response, countries such as the United States and Canada have implemented fenceline monitoring systems, enabling real-time tracking of organic solvents, including benzene. Initially, this focus was predominantly placed on the petroleum refining industry, but it has gradually been broadening. This investigation seeks to identify and analyze the specific VOCs produced in the tire manufacturing sector by utilizing both active and passive monitoring methodologies. The findings of the present study aim to recommend prioritized reduction strategies for specific VOCs. Percentage means the ratio of VOCs detected at the research site. At research target facility A, active monitoring demonstrated the presence of Methylene chloride (20.7%) and Carbon tetrachloride (15.3%), whereas passive monitoring identified Carbon tetrachloride (43.4%) and m,p-Xylene (20.8%). After converting these substances to their equivalent concentrations, we found a noteworthy correlation between the active and passive methodologies. At research target facility B, active monitoring detected n-Pentane (45.5%) and Isoprene (11.4%), while passive monitoring revealed Toluene (21.3%) and iso-Hexane (15.8%). Interestingly, even at sites like warehouses and test tracks where VOC concentrations were projected to be low, we observed VOC levels comparable to those in process areas. This underlines the fact that the dispersal of VOCs is considerably influenced by wind direction and speed. Specifically, in the tire manufacturing industry, emissions of Xylene and 3-Methylhexane, both having high photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP), contribute significantly to air pollution. However, the overall detection concentration in the tire manufacturing industry was detected at a low concentration of less than 2 μg/m3. This is less than 9 μg/m3, which is the standard for benzene, which has strong carcinogenicity regulations. This suggests that additional research is needed on synthetic rubber manufacturing rather than tire manufacturing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Urban Ozone Pollution)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Elucidating the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK on the O3-NOx-VOC relationship

Abstract: The unprecedented reductions in anthropogenic emissions over the COVID-19 lockdowns are utilised to investigate the response of ozone (O3) concentrations to changes in its precursors across various UK sites. Ozone, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and NOx (NO+NO2) data were obtained for a 3-year period encompassing the pandemic period (Jan 2019 – Dec 2021), as well as a pre-pandemic year (2017), to better understand the contribution of precursor emissions to O3 fluctuations. Compared with pre-lockdown levels, NO and NO2 declined by up to 63% and 42%, respectively over the lockdown periods, with the most significant changes in pollutant concentrations recorded across the urban traffic sites. O3 levels correspondingly increased by up to 30%, consistent with decreases in the [NO]/[NO2] ratio for O3 concentration response. Analysis of the response of O3 to the NOx reductions suggests that urban traffic, suburban background and suburban industrial sites operate under VOC-limited regimes, whilst urban background, urban industrial and rural background sites are NOx-limited. This is in agreement with the [VOC]/[NOx] ratios determined for the London Marylebone Road (LMR; urban traffic) site and the Chilbolton Observatory (CO; rural background) site, which produce values below and above 8, respectively. Conversely, [VOC]/[NOx] ratios for the London Eltham (LE; suburban background) site indicate NOx-sensitivity which may suggest the [VOC]/[NOx] indicator of O3 concentration response may have a slight NOx-sensitive bias. Further O3 concentration response indicators were also investigated to determine their relevance and accuracy in identifying O3-NOx-VOC relationships across UK sites. It is suggested that, whilst the results obtained via utilisation of these metrics would suggest a shift in photochemical regime, it is likely that variation in O3 during this period is driven by shifts in oxidant (OX; NO2 + O3) equilibrium as a result of decreasing NO2.
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