Environmental science & technology

Effects of Beijing Olympics control measures on reducing reactive hydrocarbon species.

PMID 21128631


Stringent air-quality control measures were implemented for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This large-scale manmade experiment provided an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of measures to reduce the reactivity of hydrocarbons (HCs) from emission sources, which is important for ground-level ozone abatement. Photochemical initial concentrations (PICs), i.e., the levels of HCs from sources before undergoing chemical reactions, were calculated from ambient measurements. PICs obtained using the ratio method for HCs and the sequential reaction model for alkyl nitrates were in good agreement. Propene, 1-butene, iso-butene, trans-2-butene, cis-2-butene, trans-2-pentene, and m,p-xylene were identified as key reactive species in terms of their photochemical consumptions and correspondent ozone formation potentials (OFPs). During the Olympics and Paralympics, the PICs of these seven species were reduced by 27-66%, contributing 20% to the reduction in total PICs and 60% to the reduction in total OFP compared with June levels. Source apportionments from the chemical mass balance model indicated that gasoline vehicle exhaust was the predominant contributor to the key reactive species (45-78%). Reductions of gasoline vehicle exhaust during the Olympics and Paralympics explained 53-77% and 59-68% of the reductions in PICs of the key reactive HCs and total OFP, respectively.

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