2017 journal article

Estimation of on-road NO2concentrations, NO2/NOXratios, and related roadway gradients from near-road monitoring data

Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, 10(5), 611–625.

By: J. Richmond-Bryant*, R. Chris Owen, S. Graham*, M. Snyder*, S. McDow*, M. Oakes*, S. Kimbrough*

author keywords: Near road; NO2; Oxides of nitrogen; Nitrogen dioxide; Dispersion
Source: ORCID
Added: January 13, 2020

This paper describes a new regression modeling approach to estimate on-road nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) concentrations and near-road spatial gradients using data from a near-road monitoring network. Field data were collected in Las Vegas, NV at three monitors sited 20, 100, and 300 m from Interstate-15 between December, 2008 and January, 2010. Measurements of NO2 and NOX were integrated over 1-hour intervals and matched with meteorological data. Several mathematical transformations were tested for regressing pollutant concentrations against distance from the roadway. A logit-ln model was found to have the best fit (R2 = 94.7%) and also provided a physically realistic profile. The mathematical model used data from the near-road monitors to estimate on-road concentrations and the near-road gradient over which mobile source pollutants have concentrations elevated above background levels. Average and maximum on-road NO2 concentration estimates were 33 ppb and 105 ppb, respectively. Concentration gradients were steeper in the morning and late afternoon compared with overnight when stable conditions preclude mixing. Estimated on-road concentrations were also highest in the late afternoon. Median estimated on-road and gradient NO2 concentrations were lower during summer compared with winter, with a steeper gradient during the summer, when convective mixing occurs during a longer portion of the day On-road concentration estimates were higher for winds perpendicular to the road compared with parallel winds and for atmospheric stability with neutral-to-unstable atmospheric conditions. The concentration gradient with increasing distance from the road was estimated to be sharper for neutral-to-unstable conditions when compared with stable conditions and for parallel wind conditions compared with perpendicular winds. A regression of the NO2/NOX ratios yielded on-road ratios ranging from 0.25 to 0.35, substantially higher than the anticipated tail-pipe emissions ratios. The results from the ratios also showed that the diurnal cycle of the background NO2/NOX ratios were a driving factor in the on-road and downwind NO2/NOX ratios.