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Spatial and seasonal variability of measured anthropogenic non-methane hydrocarbons in urban atmospheres: Implication on emission ratios

  • Author(s): Boynard, A
  • Borbon, A
  • Leonardis, T
  • Barletta, B
  • Meinardi, S
  • Blake, DR
  • Locoge, N
  • et al.

Continuous measurements of a wide range of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) have been performed since 2001 in Paris megacity and three French medium-sized cities (Grenoble, Marseille, and Strasbourg). After a careful verification of the data measured, the ambient concentrations are used to analyze the spatial and seasonal variability of the anthropogenic NMHC and determine the present NMHC emission ratios relative to acetylene, a useful metric to evaluate and constraint emission inventories. We show that NMHC urban composition is consistent between all cities with no industrial influence and characteristic of the urban emission mixtures, which are mostly dominated by vehicle exhaust emissions. In winter, the urban NMHC composition generally shows an enhancement in combustion-derived products (alkenes, acetylene), C2-C3 alkanes and benzene, which presumes seasonal changes in emission ratio values. Present emission ratios of NMHC relative to acetylene are determined in Paris and Strasbourg both in summer and winter. They generally compare within a factor of two except for C7-C9 aromatics in Paris. On a seasonal basis, summertime emission ratios are three times higher than wintertime ones while they stay constant for combustion derived product (alkenes) and benzene. The unburned gasoline fraction (alkanes and C7-C9 aromatics) shows the maximum difference up to a factor of seven. These findings suggest that the emission ratios reflect seasonal changes in emissions and can be a useful metric to constraint temporally resolved emission inventories at different time of the year. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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