An improved estimate for the δc and δc signatures of carbon monoxide produced from atmospheric oxidation of volatile organic compounds

Isaac J. Vimont, Jocelyn C. Turnbull, Vasilii V. Petrenko, Philip F. Place, Colm Sweeney, Natasha Miles, Scott Richardson, Bruce H. Vaughn, James W.C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) is a key player in global atmospheric chemistry and a regulated pollutant in urban areas. Oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is an important component of the global CO budget and has also been hypothesized to contribute substantially to the summertime urban CO budget. In principle, stable isotopic analysis of CO could constrain the magnitude of this source. However, the isotopic signature of VOC-produced CO has not been well quantified, especially for the oxygen isotopes.We performed measurements of CO stable isotopes on air samples from two sites around Indianapolis, US, over three summers to investigate the isotopic signature of VOCproduced CO. One of the sites is located upwind of the city, allowing us to quantitatively remove the background air signal and isolate the urban CO enhancements. as well as the isotopic signature of these enhancements. In addition, we use measurements of δ14CO2 in combination with the CO V CO2 emission ratio from fossil fuels to constrain the fossil-fuelderived CO and thereby isolate the VOC-derived component of the CO enhancement. Combining these measurements and analyses, we are able to determine the carbon and oxygen isotopic signatures of CO derived from VOC oxidation as-32:8%±0:5%and 3:6%±1:2%, respectively. Additionally, we analyzed CO stable isotopes for 1 year at Beech Island, South Carolina, US, a site thought to have large VOCderived contributions to the summertime CO budget. The Beech Island results are consistent with isotopic signatures of VOC-derived CO determined from the Indianapolis data. This study represents the first direct determination of the isotopic signatures of VOC-derived CO and will allow for improved use of isotopes in constraining the global and regional CO budgets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8547-8562
Number of pages16
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 5 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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