Surface-atmosphere fluxes of volatile organic compounds in Beijing

W. Joe F. Acton, Zhonghui Huang, Brian Davison, Will S. Drysdale, Pingqing Fu, Michael Hollaway, Ben Langford, James Lee, Yanhui Liu, Stefan Metzger, Neil Mullinger, Eiko Nemitz, Claire E. Reeves, Freya A. Squires, Adam R. Vaughan, Xinming Wang, Zhaoyi Wang, Oliver Wild, Qiang Zhang, Yanli ZhangC. Nicholas Hewitt

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Mixing ratios of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were recorded in two field campaigns in central Beijing as part of the Air Pollution and Human Health in a Chinese Megacity (APHH) project. These data were used to calculate, for the first time in Beijing, the surface-atmosphere fluxes of VOCs using eddy covariance, giving a top-down estimation of VOC emissions from a central area of the city. The results were then used to evaluate the accuracy of the Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC). The APHH winter and summer campaigns took place in November and December 2016 and May and June 2017, respectively. The largest VOC fluxes observed were of small oxygenated compounds such as methanol, ethanol + formic acid and acetaldehyde, with average emission rates of 8.31±8.5, 3.97±3.9 and 1.83±2.0nmolm-2s-1, respectively, in the summer. A large flux of isoprene was observed in the summer, with an average emission rate of 5.31±7.7nmolm-2s-1. While oxygenated VOCs made up 60% of the molar VOC flux measured, when fluxes were scaled by ozone formation potential and peroxyacyl nitrate (PAN) formation potential the high reactivity of isoprene and monoterpenes meant that these species represented 30% and 28% of the flux contribution to ozone and PAN formation potential, respectively. Comparison of measured fluxes with the emission inventory showed that the inventory failed to capture the magnitude of VOC emissions at the local scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15101-15125
Number of pages25
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020

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