ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation: Chamber Study and Model Development

Photo of William P. L. Carter, Ph.D.

William P. L. Carter, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

December 14, 2012
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


Because emissions from architectural coatings are an important component of the stationary source volatile organic compounds' (VOC) inventory, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved a mass-based Suggested Control Measure for VOCs in architectural coatings in June 2000. In the meantime, staff was also directed to evaluate the feasibility of reactivity-based regulations for architectural coatings as an alternative to mass-based regulations for added cost-effectiveness and flexibility. However, there are several issues regarding the feasibility of reactivity-based regulations, including the uncertainties associated with the reactivity of VOCs in architectural coatings.

This project was intended to reduce uncertainties in ozone reactivity estimates for selected major types of coatings VOCs. Environmental chamber experiments were carried out at atmospherically representative conditions to evaluate the abilities of mechanisms of these selected VOCs to predict their atmospheric ozone impacts. As a result of this project, updated reactivity estimates were derived for these selected coating VOCs and their associated uncertainties were reduced. The outcome of this project has significantly helped improve our understanding of reactivity uncertainties associated with architectural coatings VOCs, which is critical regarding the feasibility of a reactivity-based control strategy for architectural coatings.

Speaker Biography

William P. L. Carter, Ph.D., is a world-known authority in VOC chemistry and reactivity research. The SAPRC-99 photochemical mechanism developed by Dr. Carter is considered the state-of-the-science mechanism and is extensively used worldwide in urban and regional airshed models and other applications. His VOC reactivity scales have been incorporated in the California Clean Fuel and Low Vehicle Emissions regulation and the California aerosol coatings regulations and has played an essential role in current and future VOC control strategies worldwide.

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