An instrument for in situ measurement of total ozone reactivity

Roberto Sommariva, Louisa J. Kramer, Leigh R. Crilley, Mohammed S. Alam, William J. Bloss

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We present an instrument for the measurement of total ozone reactivity – the reciprocal of the chemical lifetime of ozone (O3) – in the troposphere. The Total Ozone Reactivity System (TORS) was developed with the objective to study the role of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) as chemical sinks of tropospheric ozone. The instrument was extensively characterized and tested in the laboratory using individual BVOCs and small plants (lemon thyme, Thymus citriodorus) in a Teflon bag and proved able to measure reactivities corresponding to >4.5×10−5 s−1 (at 5 min averaging time), with an estimated total uncertainty of ∼32%. Such reactivities correspond to >20 ppb of α-pinene or >150 ppb of isoprene in isolation – larger than typical ambient levels but observable in environmental chamber and enclosure experiments as well as in BVOC-rich environments. The functionality of TORS was demonstrated in quasi-ambient conditions with a deployment in a horticultural glasshouse containing a range of aromatic plants. The measurements of total ozone reactivity made in the glasshouse showed a clear diurnal pattern, following the emissions of BVOCs, and are consistent with mixing ratios of tens of parts per billion of monoterpenes and several parts per billion of sesquiterpenes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1670
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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