Emission, Fate, and Contribution of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds to Organic Aerosol Formation in the Presence of Anthropogenic Pollution: Measurements and Modeling during SOAS

EPA Grant Number: R835407
Title: Emission, Fate, and Contribution of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds to Organic Aerosol Formation in the Presence of Anthropogenic Pollution: Measurements and Modeling during SOAS
Investigators: Mak, John E , Goldstein, Allen H. , Guenther, Alex
Institution: The State University of New York at Stony Brook , National Center for Atmospheric Research , University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2016
Project Amount: $399,964
RFA: Anthropogenic Influences on Organic Aerosol Formation and Regional Climate Implications (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air


The overall goals of this project are to quantify biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and VOC deposition to terrestrial ecosystems, characterize VOC atmospheric oxidation, and understand the impact of anthropogenic pollution on secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. Specific objectives include: constrain and understand biogenic VOC (BVOC) emission, oxidation and deposition processes; elucidate SOA formation pathways under polluted and clean conditions; evaluate contributions of biogenic and anthropogenic VOC emissions to regional SOA; search for previously unidentified/unmeasured semivolatile organics (SVOC); investigate the impacts of urban/rural emission patterns on climate.


Tower based vertical gradient, eddy covariance flux, cartridge relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) flux, and aircraft based vertical gradient and cartridge REA flux measurements, will be used to quantify temporal and spatial variations in BVOC emissions and atmospheric oxidation, and VOC deposition. VOC measurements from the tower and aircraft will use proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometers (PTR-TOFMS) to measure emission and deposition of most of the VOC species that have a major role in SOA production. Additional speciated VOC measurements (monoterpenes and alkanes) will be done with REA samples analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometer and flame ionization detectors. Observations will be used to evaluate and improve the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) and the WRF-Chem model. WRF-Chem will then be used for a series of model simulations to investigate the impact and influence of anthropogenic and BVOCs on secondary organic aerosol formation in the Southeastern U.S. Data from the proposed measurements will be critical to analysis by the overall SOAS research team in determining anthropogenic influences on organic aerosol formation and regional climate implications.

Expected Results:

The primary deliverable products will be measurements of VOC emission and deposition on spatial and temporal scales that are optimal for evaluating and improving regional models. Outcomes will include approaches for quantifying VOC emission uncertainties and identifying missing VOC emission sources that can be utilized by the scientific community. The proposed work will also improve understanding of the processes controlling BVOC emission and VOC deposition variations that will lead to improved emission and deposition representations in models. The proposed work directly addresses the solicitation by addressing how anthropogenic emissions influence the oxidation pathway of BVOCs and the subsequent formation of SOA. The overall benefit of this project will be improving regional VOC emission and SOA simulations that enable the development of strategies that will enhance efforts to improve and maintain clean air.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 17 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 12 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

BEIS, isoprene, biogenic VOC oxidation products, deposition

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • Final Report