Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds Elucidation of Atmospheric SourcesEPA Grant Number: R825257
Title: Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds Elucidation of Atmospheric Sources
Investigators: Zika, Rod G.
Institution: University of Miami
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 21, 1996 through October 20, 1999
Project Amount: $481,115
RFA: Air Quality (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air
Description:A considerable portion of the burden of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the rural and urban troposphere is comprised of a range of oxygenated VOCs, primarily carbonyls and alcohols. The importance of these compounds is evident from their participation in photochemical oxidant formation and their ability to serve as markers for atmospheric oxidation processes of both natural and anthropogenic VOCs. During the Summer of 1995, a comprehensive measurement campaign at a rural site in Tennessee was completed as part of the 1995 SOS Nashville intensive study. An intercomparison of a variety of measurement techniques was made for a similar set of oxygenated compounds. This preliminary campaign served as an ideal situation to identify many of the problems inherent with the measurement of oxygenated compounds and probably represents one of the only multi-institutional, multi-method ambient air intercomparisons for a variety of oxygenated compounds.
As a result of this intercomparison, and observations made over the past several years, the objectives of this project are to resolve several important issues regarding the accurate measurement of oxygenated compounds. Rapid analysis techniques involving gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection and more robust standardization techniques are needed to accomplish these objectives. The first phase of this approach involves an extensive series of laboratory experiments to develop and test the analytical methodology. The second and subsequent phases of the approach will utilize these improved techniques to conduct field studies on the dynamics of these compounds on rapid timescales. Studies are planned at established field sites where long term monitoring for other associated parameters (i.e.,O3 , NOx, CO, etc.) are being measured. One site being considered is at Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The photochemistry of this site has been extensively studied in the past and is currently being sampled for VOCs on a long-time interval basis.
This program will result in guidelines for more confident determination of oxygenated compounds in the atmosphere and thus better constraint on the chemical climatologies of these compounds. The information gained and methodology developed through this research will be applied in future field programs. As in the past, the research group will participate in open dialog and information exchange with other researchers resulting in a community wide improvement in the understanding of the cycling and the analysis of oxygenated volatile organic compounds.