The role of volatile organic compounds in the polluted urban atmosphere of Bristol, England A. C. Rivett, D. Martin, D. J. Gray, C. S. Price, G. Nickless, P. G. Simmonds, S. J. O’Doherty, B. R. Greally, A. Knights, and D. E. Shallcross Biogeochemistry Research Centre, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Cantock’s Close, Bristol, BS8 1TS, UK
Abstract. The results of a field campaign carried out from early spring through to the late summer of
2000, in Bristol, England, are presented. Continuous measurements of over 40 hydrocarbons
have been made at an urban background site, located at Bristol University, for approximately
nine months using a Gas Chromatography - Flame Ionisation Detection (GC-FID) system and
for a selection of halocarbons for approximately one month using a Gas Chromatography
- Electron Capture Detection (GC-ECD) system. In this paper we present the time-series of the
nine halocarbons and selected hydrocarbons. Daytime and night-time hydroxyl radical
concentrations have been estimated based on the diurnal variations of a selection of the
measured hydrocarbons. The average summer daytime concentration of OH was found to be
2.5x106 molecules cm-3 and the night-time concentration to be in the range
104 to 105 molecules cm-3. In addition, the role played by certain VOCs in the formation of ozone is
assessed using the POCP (Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential) concept.
Citation: Rivett, A. C., Martin, D., Gray, D. J., Price, C. S., Nickless, G., Simmonds, P. G., O’Doherty, S. J., Greally, B. R., Knights, A., and Shallcross, D. E.: The role of volatile organic compounds in the polluted urban atmosphere of Bristol, England, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 3, 1165-1176, doi:10.5194/acp-3-1165-2003, 2003.