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Enhanced approaches to characterise Organic Aerosol in the Po Valley area (Italy)

pubblicazioni - Poster

Enhanced approaches to characterise Organic Aerosol in the Po Valley area (Italy)

Questo lavoro presenta i risultati della prima applicazione sulla pianura padana di una nuova metodologia modellistica per la ricostruzione del particolato organico, una frazione più significative dell’aerosol atmosferico, a cui contribuiscono anche fonti legate al settore energetico quali riscaldamento e trasporto su strada.

In Europe particulate matter is responsible for more than 300.000 deaths each year, particularly in pollution hot spots, like the Po Valley (Northern Italy), where organic aerosol (OA) is one of the dominant components of fine particles.

Although the sources of primary organic aerosol are relatively well constrained, the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is significantly underestimated by air quality models, due to the poorly understood formation and evolution of SOA in the atmosphere. Recent modelling studies confirm the clear lack in reproducing the OA fraction also in the Po valley, particularly during the winter season.

The Volatility Basis Set (2D-VBS) model is one the most recent and comprehensive approaches to describe the fate of SOA in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the implementation of the VBS approach in a full 3D chemistry transport model (CTM) is strongly limited by its computational burden.

The aim of this work is to evaluate the sensitivity of the CAMx model performance with respect to the choice of the SOA mechanism comparing the traditional Odum 2-product model with the recent VBS1.5 algorithm (Koo et al., 2014). VBS1.5 is a simplified version of the 2D-VBS module, hence more suitable for 3D model applications. CAMx model was implemented over a 5 km resolution domain covering the whole Po valley, one of the most polluted area in Italy, where a specific field campaign was available to evaluate model performance.

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