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Simulated Sensitivity of Ozone Generation to Precursors in Beijing during a High O3 Episode


This study uses the WRF-Chem model combined with the empirical kinetic modeling method (EKMA curve) to study the compound pollution event in Beijing that happened in 13–23 May 2017. Sensitivity tests are conducted to analyze ozone sensitivity to its precursors, and to develop emission reduction measures. The results suggest that the model can accurately simulate the compound pollution process of photochemistry and haze. When VOCs and NOx were reduced by the same proportion, the effect of O3 reduction at peak time was more obvious, and the effect during daytime was more significant than at night. The degree of change in ozone was peak time > daytime average. When reducing or increasing the ratio of precursors by 25% at the same time, the effect of reducing 25% VOCs on the average ozone concentration reduction was most significant. The degree of change in ozone decreased with increasing altitude, the location of the ozone maximum change shifted westward, and its range narrowed. As the altitude increases, the VOCs-limited zone decreases, VOCs sensitivity decreases, NOx sensitivity increases. The controlled area changed from near-surface VOCs-limited to high-altitude NOx-limited. Upon examining the EKMA curve, we have found that suburban and urban are sensitive to VOCs. The sensitivity tests indicate that when VOCs in suburban are reduced about 60%, the O3-1h concentration could reach the standard, and when VOCs of the urban decreased by about 50%, the O3-1h concentration could reach the standard. Thus, these findings could provide references for the control of compound air pollution in Beijing.

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This study is funded by Air Pollution Special Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. 2017YFCOZ10006) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41975173)

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Correspondence to Xingqin An.

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Article Highlights

• Sensitivity tests and EKMA curve to analyze the ozone sensitivity to precursors and to develop emission reduction measures.

• Controlled area changes from limited near-surface VOCs to limited high-altitude NOx.

• The EKMA curve shows the sensitivity of suburban area (Changping) and urban area (Wanshou West Palace) to VOCs.

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Cui, M., An, X., Xing, L. et al. Simulated Sensitivity of Ozone Generation to Precursors in Beijing during a High O3 Episode. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 38, 1223–1237 (2021).

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Key words

  • Ozone (O3)
  • Sensitivity of ozone to its precursors
  • WRF-Chem model
  • EKMA
  • Beijing


  • 臭氧(O3)
  • 臭氧前体物敏感性
  • WRF-Chem模型
  • EKMA曲线
  • 北京