Investigating the Tropospheric Chemistry of Acetic Acid Using the Global 3-D Chemistry Transport Model, STOCHEM-CRI

M. Anwar H. Khan, Kyle Lyons, Rabi Chhantyal-Pun, Max R. McGillen, Rebecca L. Caravan, Craig A. Taatjes, Andrew J. Orr-Ewing, Carl J. Percival, Dudley E. Shallcross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Acetic acid (CH3COOH) is one of the most abundant carboxylic acids in the troposphere. In the study, the tropospheric chemistry of CH3COOH is investigated using the 3-D global chemistry transport model, STOCHEM-CRI. The highest mixing ratios of surface CH3COOH are found in the tropics by as much as 1.6 ppb in South America. The model predicts the seasonality of CH3COOH reasonably well and correlates with some surface and flight measurement sites, but the model drastically underpredicts levels in urban and midlatitudinal regions. The possible reasons for the underprediction are discussed. The simulations show that the lifetime and global burden of CH3COOH are 1.6–1.8 days and 0.45–0.61 Tg, respectively. The reactions of the peroxyacetyl radical (CH3CO3) with the hydroperoxyl radical (HO2) and other organic peroxy radicals (RO2) are found to be the principal sources of tropospheric CH3COOH in the model, but the model-measurement discrepancies suggest the possible unknown or underestimated sources which can contribute large fractions of the CH3COOH burden. The major sinks of CH3COOH in the troposphere are wet deposition, dry deposition, and OH loss. However, the reaction of CH3COOH with Criegee intermediates is proposed to be a potentially significant chemical loss process of tropospheric CH3COOH that has not been previously accounted for in global modeling studies. Inclusion of this loss process reduces the tropospheric CH3COOH level significantly which can give even larger discrepancies between model and measurement data, suggesting that the emissions inventory and the chemical production sources of CH3COOH are underpredicted even more so in current global models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6267-6281
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number11
Early online date13 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2018


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