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Title: Impact of external industrial sources on the regional and local SO₂ and O₃ levels of the Mexico megacity

The air quality of megacities can be influenced by external emissions sources on both global and regional scale, and at the same time their outflow emissions can exert an important impact to the surrounding environment. The present study evaluates an SO₂ peak observed on 24 March 2006 at the suburban supersite T1 and ambient air quality monitoring stations located in the north region of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during MILAGRO campaign. We found that this peak could be related to an important episodic emission event from Tizayuca region, northeast of the MCMA. Back trajectories analyses suggest that the emission event started in the early morning at 10 04:00 LST and lasted for about 9 h. The estimated emission rate is noticeably high, about 2 kgs-¹. This finding suggests the possibility of "overlooked"emission sources in this region that could influence the air quality of the MCMA. This further motivated us to study the cement plants, including those in the State of Hidalgo and in the State of Mexico, and we found that they can contribute in the NE region of the basin (about 15 41.7%), at the suburban supersite T1 (41.23%) and at some monitoring stations their contribution canmore » be even higher than from the Tula Industrial Complex. The contribution of Tula Industrial Complex to regional ozone levels is estimated. The model suggests low contribution to the MCMA (1 ppb to 4 ppb) and slightly higher at the suburban T1 (6 ppb) and rural T2 (5 ppb) supersites. However, the contribution could be 20 as high as 10 ppb in the upper northwest region of the basin and in the southwest and south-southeast regions of State of Hidalgo. In addition, a first estimate of the potential contribution from flaring activities to regional ozone levels is presented. Emission rates are estimated with a CFD combustion model. Results suggest that up to 30% of the total regional ozone from TIC could be related to flaring activities. 25 Finally, the influence in SO₂ levels from technological changes in the existing refinery is briefly discussed. These changes are due to the upcoming construction of a new refinery in Tula. The combination of emission reductions in the power plant, the refinery and in local sources in the MCMA could result in higher reductions on the average SO₂ 26580 Discussion Paper | Discussion Paper | Discussion Paper | Discussion Paper | concentration. Reductions in external sources tend to affect more the northern part of the basin (-16.35% to -45.58%), whilst reductions of urban sources in the megacity tend to diminish SO₂ levels substantially in the central, southwest, and southeast regions (-30.71% to -49.75%).« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14(16):8483–8499
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States