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Proceedings Paper

DOAS (differential optical absorption spectroscopy) urban pollution measurements
Author(s): Robert K. Stevens; T. L. Vossler
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Paper Abstract

During July and August of 1990, a differential optical absorption spectrometer (DOAS) made by OPSIS Inc. was used to measure gaseous air pollutants over three separate open paths in Atlanta, GA. Over path 1 (1099 m) and path 2 (1824 m), ozone (03), sulfur dioxide (SO2) nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrous acid (HNO2) formaldehyde (HCHO), benzene, toluene, and o-xylene were measured. Nitric oxide (NO) and ammonia (NH3) were monitored over path 3 (143 m). The data quality and data capture depended on the compound being measured and the path over which it was measured. Data quality criteria for each compound were chosen such that the average relative standard deviation would be less than 25%. Data capture ranged from 43% for o-xylene for path 1 to 95% for ozone for path 2. Benzene, toluene, and o-xylene concentrations measured over path 2, which crossed over an interstate highway, were higher than concentrations measured over path 1, implicating emissions from vehicles on the highway as a significant source of these compounds. Federal Reference Method (FRN) instruments were located near the DOAS light receivers and measurements of 03, NO2, and NO were made concurrently with the DOAS. Correlation coefficients greater than 0.85 were obtained between the DOAS and FRM's; however, there was a difference between the mean values obtained by the two methods for 03 and NO. A gas chromatograph for measuring volatile organic compounds was operated next to the FRN's. Correlation coefficients of about 0.66 were obtained between the DOAS and GC measurements of benzene and o- xylene. However, the correlation coefficient between the DOAS and GC measurements of toluene averaged only 0.15 for the two DOAS measurement paths. The lack of correlation and other factors indicate the possibility of a localized source of toluene near the GC. In general, disagreements between the two measurement methods could be caused by atmospheric inhomogeneities or interferences in the DOAS and other methods.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1991
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1433, Measurement of Atmospheric Gases, (1 May 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.46150
Show Author Affiliations
Robert K. Stevens, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (United States)
T. L. Vossler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1433:
Measurement of Atmospheric Gases
Harold I. Schiff, Editor(s)

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