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The Composition and Concentration of Hydrocarbons in the Range of C2 To C18 in Downtown Los Angeles, Ca

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Ambient air samples were collected in the downtown Los Angeles (California) area and analyzed for non-methane hydrocarbons in the range of C2 to C18. Two daily samples were collected, using stainless steel canisters and Tenax-TA solid adsorbent cartridges, over four days in August 1991. The samples were analyzed using high resolution gas chromatographic separation and Fourier transform infrared/mass spectrometric detection (GC/IRD/MSD) or flame ionization detection (FID) of individual hydrocarbons. The comparison of hydrocarbon concentrations found in the Tenax and canister samples and the assessment of the contribution of semivolatile hydrocarbons (C10-C18 range) to the sum of non-methane hydrocarbons (C2-C10 or C2-C12), as measured by the canister method, is presented. This contribution ranges from ~7% to 15% (for C10-C18 range) and ~3% to 8% (for C12-C18 range). The semivolatile hydrocarbons also contribute ~16% to the total ozone forming potential of non-methane hydrocarbons.

Affiliations: 1: Desert Research Institute, P.O. Box 60220, Reno, Nevada, 89506, U.S.A


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