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Acetone in theGlobal Troposphere: Its Possible Role as a Global Source of PANOxygenated hydrocarbons are thought to be important components of the atmosphere but, with the exception of formaldehyde, very little about their distribution and fate is known. Aircraft measurements of acetone (CH3COCH3), PAN (CH3CO3NO2) and other organic species (e. g. acetaldehyde, methanol and ethanol) have been performed over the Pacific, the southern Atlantic, and the subarctic atmospheres. Sampled areas extended from 0 to 12 km altitude over latitudes of 70 deg N to 40 deg S. All measurements are based on real time in-situ analysis of cryogenically preconcentrated air samples. Substantial concentrations of these oxygenated species (10-2000 ppt) have been observed at all altitudes and geographical locations in the troposphere. Important sources include, emissions from biomass burning, plant and vegetation, secondary oxidation of primary non-methane hydrocarbons, and man-made emissions. Direct measurements within smoke plumes have been used to estimate the biomass burning source. Photochemistry studies are used to suggest that acetone could provide a major source of peroxyacetyl radicals in the atmosphere and play an important role in sequestering reactive nitrogen. Model calculations show that acetone photolysis contributes significantly to PAN formation in the middle and upper troposphere.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Singh, H. B. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Kanakidou, M. (Centre des Faibles Radioactives Gif sur Yvette, France)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 7, 1994
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Meeting Information
CACGP and IGAC Symposia(Fuji-Yoshida)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 464-54-01-10
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.