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Assessment of the relative importance of terrestrial biogenic oxigenated volatile organic compounds (BOVOC) emissions for tropospheric ozone formation over Europe


This project aims to investigate the impact of emissions of biogenic oxygenated volatile organic compounds (BOVOC) on the chemistry of the lower troposphere over Europe.

Volatile organic compounds are emitted into the atmosphere from a variety of agricultural and natural plant species. However, the magnitude of the emissions and the consequences for the chemistry of the atmosphere are essentially unknown. The emissions of BOVOC from most abundant types of European vegetation will be quantified and the effect on the chemistry of the atmosphere, especially oxidant formation calculated. The measurements will focus on the, from our present knowledge, most important BOVOC compounds, e.g. hexenol and hexenylacetate, but the analytical techniques, which will be developed, will also allow the determination of a broad range of other BOVOC compounds at levels relevant for the chemistry of the atmosphere as alcohols, aldehydes, etc. The emission studies will include enclosure measurements, experiments in controlled environment chambers, and ambient atmospheric investigations combined with the Rn-tracer technique and micrometeorological measurements.

In order to quantify the impact of BOVOC on the chemistry of the atmosphere they will be considered in perspective to other atmospheric volatile organic compounds. For this end the ambient BOVOC measurements will be combined with measurements of methane, CO, nonmethane hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, ozone and peroxides. The results of these measurements will be used as input data for model calculations. Sensitivity studies with varying concentrations and fluxes of BOVOC will be made to quantify the impact of BOVOC on the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere, especially the concentration of ozone and peroxides.

Quantitative results which are crucial for ozone reduction strategies on European and regional scales are expected. This includes quantitative determinations of absolute and relative contributions of BOVOC to the total atmospheric concentration of volatile organic compounds and of the most important factors affecting these emissions, as well as calculations of the ozone formation potential of BOVOC and its dependence from several of the photochemically most important atmospheric trace compounds.

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Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
EU contribution
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52425 Jülich

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Participants (3)