Airborne and ground based measurements of volatile organic compounds using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry in Texas and Mexico City

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Title: Airborne and ground based measurements of volatile organic compounds using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry in Texas and Mexico City
Author: Fortner, Edward Charles
Abstract: Measurements of ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs ) by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR -MS ) are reported from recent airborne and surface based field campaigns . The Southeast Texas Tetroon Study (SETTS ) was a project within the TEXAQS 2005 field campaign , conducting airborne measurements that investigated the nocturnal Lagrangian transport of industrial plumes downwind of the Houston , Texas metropolitan area . On the evening of July 26 -27 , a polluted air mass with elevated mass 43 , mass 45 and mass 57 VOCs along with elevated O3 , CO , and NOx was tracked from the Houston metropolitan area to an area northwest of Shreveport , LA , a distance of over 200 miles . This campaign demonstrated that the PTRMS is capable of tracking a VOC plume over large distances and these measurements indicate that transport of VOCs , particularly light alkenes and their oxidation products , out of the Houston metropolitan area may need to be considered by areas downwind of the Houston area when they are determining how to attain their air quality goals . During the MILAGRO field campaign in March 2006 VOCs were measured by PTR -MS instrumentation on a rooftop in the urban mixed residential and industrial area north northeast of downtown Mexico City . Diurnal profiles of weekday and weekend /holiday aromatic VOC concentrations clearly show the influence of vehicular traffic during the morning rush hour time period and during the afternoon hours although a separate late afternoon peak is not seen . Plumes of toluene elevated as much as 216 parts per billion by volume (ppbv ) and ethyl acetate elevated as much as 183 ppbv above background levels were observed during the late night and early morning hours . These plumes indicate the probability of significant industrial sources of these two compounds in the region . The high levels of toluene measured by our PTR -MS exceed levels that would be predicted by examination of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA ) emission inventory and when these VOC measurements are integrated with measurements conducted throughout the MCMA a better understanding of both the overall spatial pattern of VOCs in the MCMA as well as its variability will be attained .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1040
Date: 2009-05-15

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Airborne and ground based measurements of volatile organic compounds using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry in Texas and Mexico City. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1040 .

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