The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in partnership with Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research embarked on the Korea-United States Air Quality (KORUS-AQ) study to address air quality issues over the Korean peninsula. Underestimation of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from various large facilities on South Korea’s northwest coast may contribute to this problem, and this study focuses on quantifying top-down emissions of formaldehyde (CH2O) and VOCs from the largest of these facilities,the Daesan petrochemical complex, and comparisons with the latest emission inventories.To accomplish this and additional goals discussed herein, this study employed a number of measurements acquired during KORUS-AQ onboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft during three Daesan overflights on June 2, 3, and 5, 2016, in conjunction with a mass balance approach. The measurements included fast airborne measurements of CH2O and ethane from an infrared spectrometer, additional fast measurements from other instruments, and a suite of 33 VOC measurements acquired by the whole air sampler. The mass balance approach resulted in consistent top-down yearly Daesan VOC emission flux estimates, which averaged (61 + 14) × 103 MT/year for the 33 VOC compounds, a factor of 2.9 + 0.6 (+1.0) higher than the bottom-up inventory value. The top-down Daesan emission estimate for CH2O and its four primary precursors averaged a factor of 4.3 + 1.5 (+ 1.9) times higher than the bottom-up inventory value. The uncertainty values in parentheses reflect upper limits for total uncertainty estimates. The resulting averaged top-down Daesan emission estimate for sulfur dioxide (SO2) yielded a ratio of 0.81–1.0 times the bottom-up SO2 inventory, and this provides an important cross-check on the accuracy of our mass balance analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Atmospheric Science