Special Issue "Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Barkley C. Sive
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
US National Park Service, Air Resources Division, Lakewood, CO, USA
Interests: analytical techniques for atmospheric VOC measurements; oil and natural gas production emissions; local and regional air quality; climate change; biogenic emissions; nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs); oxygenated VOCs (OVOCs); organic nitrates; halocarbons; sulfur compounds; gas chromatography; mass spectrometry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and play an important role in determining the composition and chemistry on varying spatial scales. VOCs can have a significant impact on local and regional air quality as their oxidation in the presence of nitrogen oxides leads to tropospheric ozone formation. VOCs also directly and indirectly affect the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere because they can directly influence hydroxyl radical concentrations, thereby influencing the lifetimes of other atmospheric constituents. Oxidation processes affect the distribution and trends of a large variety of trace gases emitted from natural and anthropogenic sources, and VOC oxidation products can partition into the particle phase, becoming a significant component of fine aerosol mass. The impact of oxidation on radiatively important trace gases and particulate formation are also important for radiative forcing and climate. For these reasons, it is critical to understand the individual sources and sinks in the atmosphere that can influence the chemistry and regional distribution of these trace gases.

Scientific findings from the last decade have demonstrated the need for a more comprehensive approach to, and understanding of, both anthropogenic and natural VOC perturbations to the atmosphere, their influence on tropospheric ozone and other photochemical oxidants, and the ultimate effects on human health and ecosystem welfare. Advances in technology and analytical measurement techniques over the past decades have improved our ability to better characterize and accurately quantify atmospheric VOCs at mole fractions of 10-12 or less, and at high temporal resolutions such that instrumentation can be deployed on a wide range of mobile platforms. Biosphere–atmosphere chemical interactions, impacts of oil and natural gas production operations, and wildfire emissions are topics of timely interest concerning atmospheric VOCs. Furthermore, atmospheric variability coupled with the complexity of the chemical cycling for VOCs has facilitated the development of highly sophisticated models to interpret observations, especially for short-lived VOCs, and to evaluate our theoretical understanding of the photochemistry and dynamics of VOC oxidation, and ultimately to predict how future atmospheric composition will change. 

As the nature of atmospheric VOCs is highly complex and covers a wide range of disciplines, manuscripts on all aspects of atmospheric VOCs are welcome for this Special Issue.

Dr. Barkley C. Sive
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • sources, sinks, and atmospheric lifetimes
  • secondary organic aerosol formation
  • kinetics and photochemistry
  • budgets and emission inventories
  • oil and natural gas production
  • urban and regional pollution
  • wildfires, prescribed burns and smoke
  • agricultural emissions
  • isotope ratios
  • biosphere/atmosphere interactions (e.g., fluxes, deposition, impacts, etc.)
  • air/sea fluxes
  • climate change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Natural Formation of Chloro- and Bromoacetone in Salt Lakes of Western Australia
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110663 - 30 Oct 2019
Abstract
Western Australia is a semi-/arid region known for saline lakes with a wide range of geochemical parameters (pH 2.5–7.1, Cl 10–200 g L−1). This study reports on the haloacetones chloro- and bromoacetone in air over 6 salt lake shorelines. Significant [...] Read more.
Western Australia is a semi-/arid region known for saline lakes with a wide range of geochemical parameters (pH 2.5–7.1, Cl 10–200 g L−1). This study reports on the haloacetones chloro- and bromoacetone in air over 6 salt lake shorelines. Significant emissions of chloroacetone (up to 0.2 µmol m−2 h−1) and bromoacetone (up to 1. 5 µmol m−2 h−1) were detected, and a photochemical box model was employed to evaluate the contribution of their atmospheric formation from the olefinic hydrocarbons propene and methacrolein in the gas phase. The measured concentrations could not explain the photochemical halogenation reaction, indicating a strong hitherto unknown source of haloacetones. Aqueous-phase reactions of haloacetones, investigated in the laboratory using humic acid in concentrated salt solutions, were identified as alternative formation pathway by liquid-phase reactions, acid catalyzed enolization of ketones, and subsequent halogenation. In order to verify this mechanism, we made measurements of the Henry’s law constants, rate constants for hydrolysis and nucleophilic exchange with chloride, UV-spectra and quantum yields for the photolysis of bromoacetone and 1,1-dibromoacetone in the aqueous phase. We suggest that heterogeneous processes induced by humic substances in the quasi-liquid layer of the salt crust, particle surfaces and the lake water are the predominating pathways for the formation of the observed haloacetones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs))
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Open AccessArticle
Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban and Suburban Atmospheres in Central China: Spatiotemporal Patterns, Source Implications, and Health Risk Assessment
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100565 - 20 Sep 2019
Abstract
Ambient aromatic hydrocarbons (AHs) are hazardous air pollutants and the main precursors of ozone (O3). In this study, the characteristics of ambient AHs were investigated at an urban site (Ziyang, ZY) and a suburban site (Jiangxia, JX) in Wuhan, Central China, [...] Read more.
Ambient aromatic hydrocarbons (AHs) are hazardous air pollutants and the main precursors of ozone (O3). In this study, the characteristics of ambient AHs were investigated at an urban site (Ziyang, ZY) and a suburban site (Jiangxia, JX) in Wuhan, Central China, in 2017. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was used to investigate the sources of AHs, and a health risk assessment was applied to estimate the effects of AHs on human health. The concentrations of total AHs at ZY (2048 ± 1364 pptv) were comparable (p > 0.05) to that (2023 ± 1015 pptv) at JX. Source apportionment results revealed that vehicle exhaust was the dominant source of both, total AHs, and toluene, contributing 51.9 ± 13.1% and 49.3 ± 9.5% at ZY, and 44.7 ± 12.6% and 43.2 ± 10.2% at JX, respectively. Benzene was mainly emitted from vehicle exhaust at ZY (50.2 ± 15.5%), while it was mainly released from biomass and coal burning sources at JX (50.6 ± 16.7%). The health risk assessment results indicated that AHs did not have a significant non-carcinogenic risk, while the carcinogenic risks of benzene exceeded the regulatory limits set by the USEPA for adults (1 × 10−6) at both sites. Hence, controlling the emissions of vehicular and biomass/coal burning sources will be an effective way to reduce ambient AHs and the health risk of benzene exposure in this region. These findings will enhance our knowledge of ambient AHs in Central China and be helpful for local governments to formulate air pollution control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs))
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