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A Review of Tropospheric Atmospheric Chemistry and Gas-Phase Chemical Mechanisms for Air Quality Modeling
Department of Chemistry, Howard University, 525 College Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059, USA
Center for Environmental Research and Technology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2011; in revised form: 24 November 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 21 December 2011
Abstract: Gas-phase chemical mechanisms are vital components of prognostic air quality models. The mechanisms are incorporated into modules that are used to calculate the chemical sources and sinks of ozone and the precursors of particulates. Fifty years ago essential atmospheric chemical processes, such as the importance of the hydroxyl radical, were unknown and crude air quality models incorporated only a few parameterized reactions obtained by fitting observations. Over the years, chemical mechanisms for air quality modeling improved and became more detailed as more experimental data and more powerful computers became available. However it will not be possible to incorporate a detailed treatment of the chemistry for all known chemical constituents because there are thousands of organic compounds emitted into the atmosphere. Some simplified method of treating atmospheric organic chemistry is required to make air quality modeling computationally possible. The majority of the significant differences between air quality mechanisms are due to the differing methods of treating this organic chemistry. The purpose of this review is to present an overview of atmospheric chemistry that is incorporated into air quality mechanisms and to suggest areas in which more research is needed.
Keywords: atmospheric chemistry; troposphere; gas-phase; chemical mechanisms; ozone; nitrogen oxides; volatile organic compounds
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Stockwell, W.R.; Lawson, C.V.; Saunders, E.; Goliff, W.S. A Review of Tropospheric Atmospheric Chemistry and Gas-Phase Chemical Mechanisms for Air Quality Modeling. Atmosphere 2012, 3, 1-32.
Stockwell WR, Lawson CV, Saunders E, Goliff WS. A Review of Tropospheric Atmospheric Chemistry and Gas-Phase Chemical Mechanisms for Air Quality Modeling. Atmosphere. 2012; 3(1):1-32.
Stockwell, William R.; Lawson, Charlene V.; Saunders, Emily; Goliff, Wendy S. 2012. "A Review of Tropospheric Atmospheric Chemistry and Gas-Phase Chemical Mechanisms for Air Quality Modeling." Atmosphere 3, no. 1: 1-32.