Urban Ozone Control and Atmospheric Reactivity of Organic Gases

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Science  28 Jul 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5223, pp. 491-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5223.491


Control strategies for urban ozone traditionally have been based on mass reductions in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Studies show, however, that some organic gas species (such as alkanes and alcohols) form an order of magnitude less ozone than equal mass emissions of others (such as alkenes and aldehydes). Chemically detailed photochemical models are used to assess uncertainty and variability in reactivity quantification. VOC control strategies based on relative reactivity appear to be robust with respect to nationwide variations in environmental conditions and uncertainties in the atmospheric chemistry. Control of selective organic gas species on the basis of reactivity can offer cost savings over traditional strategies.