Investigation of atmospheric reactions from well characterized industrial source emissions using master chemical mechanism (MCM) modelling

Sean Lam

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated] The emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and generation of
oxidation products can have a wide range of impacts on the environment, from
the immediate vicinity on local health to world-wide effects on climate change,
global warming and atmospheric composition. Anthropogenic and biogenic
emissions are the major sources of VOCs in the atmosphere; it warrants more
detailed analysis and understanding of their atmospheric degradation.
This thesis is a detailed chemical computational study examining the timescales
and degradation products of the oxidation of VOCs in an airshed characterised
by a well defined industrial emission source, situated in an isolated semi-rural
airshed in South West Australia.
By utilizing a comprehensive emission inventory from Alcoa’s alumina refinery
monitoring and measurements program, and developing two highly detailed
Photochemical Trajectory Models (PTMs) based on the world class Master
Chemical Mechanism (MCM) framework, the chemical composition in the
airshed has been investigated.
A statistical approach has been adopted to estimate the alumina refinery
emissions. 27 key species have been identified to make up 96% of the VOC
mass emissions of the refinery sources (Chapter 2).
In the tailored PTMs, new VOC degradation schemes have been written
specifically for vinyl chloride and ethylene oxide. The troposphere degradation
schemes for acrolein, methacrolein and crotonaldehyde have also been
updated and expanded to be treated as primary emitted VOC species, and
incorporated into the current MCM database and models (Chapter 3).
Photolysis rates and biogenic VOC emissions have been calculated according
to the southern hemisphere climate under typical summer and winter conditions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

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