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Volume 17, issue 19 | Copyright

Special issue: The community version of the Weather Research and Forecasting...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 12253-12267, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-12253-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Oct 2017

Research article | 13 Oct 2017

Regional modelling of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: WRF-Chem-PAH model development and East Asia case studies

Qing Mu1, Gerhard Lammel1,2, Christian N. Gencarelli3, Ian M. Hedgecock3, Ying Chen1,4, Petra Přibylová2, Monique Teich4, Yuxuan Zhang1, Guangjie Zheng5, Dominik van Pinxteren4, Qiang Zhang6, Hartmut Herrmann4, Manabu Shiraiwa1,7, Peter Spichtinger8, Hang Su1,9, Ulrich Pöschl1, and Yafang Cheng1,9 Qing Mu et al.
  • 1Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 3CNR-Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Division of Rende, Rende, Italy
  • 4Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 5Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brookhaven, USA
  • 6Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 7Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • 8Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
  • 9Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China

Abstract. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are hazardous pollutants, with increasing emissions in pace with economic development in East Asia, but their distribution and fate in the atmosphere are not yet well understood. We extended the regional atmospheric chemistry model WRF-Chem (Weather Research Forecast model with Chemistry module) to comprehensively study the atmospheric distribution and the fate of low-concentration, slowly degrading semivolatile compounds. The WRF-Chem-PAH model reflects the state-of-the-art understanding of current PAHs studies with several new or updated features. It was applied for PAHs covering a wide range of volatility and hydrophobicity, i.e. phenanthrene, chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene, in East Asia. Temporally highly resolved PAH concentrations and particulate mass fractions were evaluated against observations. The WRF-Chem-PAH model is able to reasonably well simulate the concentration levels and particulate mass fractions of PAHs near the sources and at a remote outflow region of East Asia, in high spatial and temporal resolutions. Sensitivity study shows that the heterogeneous reaction with ozone and the homogeneous reaction with the nitrate radical significantly influence the fate and distributions of PAHs. The methods to implement new species and to correct the transport problems can be applied to other newly implemented species in WRF-Chem.

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Short summary
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are hazardous pollutants with the largest emissions in East Asia. The regional WRF-Chem-PAH model has been developed to reflect the state-of-the-art understanding of current PAHs studies with several new or updated features. It is able to reasonably well simulate the concentration levels and particulate mass fractions of PAHs near the sources and at a remote outflow region of East Asia, in high spatial and temporal resolutions.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are hazardous pollutants with the largest emissions in...
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