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Isoprene Emissions and Ozone Formation in Urban Conditions: A Case Study in the City of Rio de Janeiro


The potential role of isoprene oxidative processes, as well as the possible impact of air pollution on isoprene emissions, are more important in tropical cities, surrounded by rainforests. In this study, the contribution of isoprene to ozone formation was determined considering different scenarios, mainly volatile organic compounds/NO x (VOC/NO x ) ratios, and typical atmospheric conditions for the city of Rio de Janeiro, where more than 36% of the urbanized area is covered by vegetation. Ozone isopleths and incremental reactivity coefficients (IR) were evaluated to understand the direct contribution of isoprene to ground-level ozone formation and the negative impact of anthropogenic NO x emissions on the natural atmospheric balance. Although isoprene accounted for only 2.7% of the total VOC mass, excluding the isoprene concentration from the model reduced the maximum ozone value by 14.1%. The calculated IR coefficient (grams of O3 formed per gram of added isoprene) was 2.2 for a VOC/NO x ratio of 8.86.

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The study was funded in part by FAPERJ, CNPq and CAPES. The authors also acknowledge data provided by SMAC.

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Correspondence to Graciela Arbilla.

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da Silva, C.M., Corrêa, S.M. & Arbilla, G. Isoprene Emissions and Ozone Formation in Urban Conditions: A Case Study in the City of Rio de Janeiro. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 100, 184–188 (2018).

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  • Isoprene
  • Biogenic volatile organic compounds
  • Ozone
  • Reactivity