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An extensive set of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was measured at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) in winter 2011 in order to investigate the composition and influence of VOC emissions from oil and natural gas (O&NG) operations in northeastern Colorado. BAO is 30 km north of Denver and is in the southwestern section of Wattenberg Field, one of Colorado's most productive O&NG fields. We compare VOC concentrations at BAO to those of other U.S. cities and summertime measurements at two additional sites in northeastern Colorado, as well as the composition of raw natural gas from Wattenberg Field. These comparisons show that (i) the VOC source signature associated with O&NG operations can be clearly differentiated from urban sources dominated by vehicular exhaust, and (ii) VOCs emitted from O&NG operations are evident at all three measurement sites in northeastern Colorado. At BAO, the reactivity of VOCs with the hydroxyl radical (OH) was dominated by C(2)-C(6) alkanes due to their remarkably large abundances (e.g., mean propane = 27.2 ppbv). Through statistical regression analysis, we estimate that on average 55 ± 18% of the VOC-OH reactivity was attributable to emissions from O&NG operations indicating that these emissions are a significant source of ozone precursors.
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado , Boulder, Colorado, United States.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science & technology
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Organic compounds that have a relatively high VAPOR PRESSURE at room temperature.
Oils which evaporate readily. The volatile oils occur in aromatic plants, to which they give odor and other characteristics. Most volatile oils consist of a mixture of two or more TERPENES or of a mixture of an eleoptene (the more volatile constituent of a volatile oil) with a stearopten (the more solid constituent). The synonym essential oils refers to the essence of a plant, as its perfume or scent, and not to its indispensability.
Inorganic derivatives of ammonia by substitution of one or more hydrogen atoms with chlorine atoms or organic compounds with the general formulas R2NCl and RNCl2 (where R is an organic group).
Compounds derived from organic or inorganic acids in which at least one hydroxyl group is replaced by an –O-alkyl or other organic group. They can be represented by the structure formula RCOOR’ and are usually formed by the reaction between an acid and an alcohol with elimination of water.
Compounds based on a 7-membered heterocyclic ring including an oxygen. They can be considered a medium ring ether. A natural source is the MONTANOA plant genus. Some dibenzo-dioxepins, called depsidones, are found in GARCINIA plants.