Measurements of PANs during the New England Air Quality Study 2002

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Abstract

[1] Measurements of peroxycarboxylic nitric anhydrides (PANs) were made during the New England Air Quality Study 2002 cruise of the NOAA RV Ronald H Brown. The four compounds observed, PAN, peroxypropionic nitric anhydride (PPN), peroxymethacrylic nitric anhydride (MPAN), and peroxyisobutyric nitric anhydride (PiBN) were compared with results from other continental and Gulf of Maine sites. Systematic changes in PPN/PAN ratio, due to differential thermal decomposition rates, were related quantitatively to air mass aging. At least one early morning period was observed when O3 seemed to have been lost probably due to NO3 and N2O5 chemistry. The highest O3 episode was observed in the combined plume of isoprene sources and anthropogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx sources from the greater Boston area. A simple linear combination model showed that the organic precursors leading to elevated O3 were roughly half from the biogenic and half from anthropogenic VOC regimes. An explicit chemical box model confirmed that the chemistry in the Boston plume is well represented by the simple linear combination model. This degree of biogenic hydrocarbon involvement in the production of photochemical ozone has significant implications for air quality control strategies in this region.

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