Course Summary

Air pollution and its impact on air quality are a major area of environmental concern. This course will provide the students with a background in the fundamentals of volatile hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, and their reaction rates. Both anthropogenic and natural emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) will be discussed together with their role in ozone and photochemical oxidant/smog formation. Also to be discussed will be reaction products of these compounds, some of which form toxic or hazardous air pollutants, for example the formation of carbonyls.

Course Syllabus

  • Importance of Volatile Hydrocarbons in Air Quality
  • Types of Hydrocarbons, and Reaction Rates in the Atmosphere
  • Sources of Atmospheric Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrocarbon Lifetimes
  • Atmospheric Chemistry of Hydrocarbons
  • Ozone formation potential of Various Hydrocarbons
  • Using HC’s ratios as a tool to evaluate data sources and data quality
  • Utilization of speciated databases i.e. Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) and Toxic Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrocarbon mixing ratios in Raleigh, NC and over the continents
  • Problem Solving