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MEA130 MEA140 MEA321 ET/MEA320 MEA493MEA779

Volatile Hydrocarbons in the Atmosphere

Short Course

Instructor:    Dr. Viney P. Aneja
                   Professor, Air Quality
                 Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC  27695-8208
(919) 515-7808  Telephone
(919) 515-7802  Fax


Reading Material:  

1.   Lecture notes
2.  “Chemistry of the Natural Atmosphere:, Chapter 6, Academic Press, Peter Warneck, 1988.
3.  “Acidic Deposition:  State of Science and Technology”, National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, 1990
4.  Selected Research Articles

Course Description:

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.


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


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