Carbonyl compounds in the urban environment of Athens, Greece.

Research paper by Evangelos B EB Bakeas, Dimitrios I DI Argyris, Panayotis A PA Siskos

Indexed on: 22 May '03Published on: 22 May '03Published in: Chemosphere


The concentration levels of 15 selected carbonyl compounds in 62 samples were determined at two sites in Athens basin from June to December 2000. Formaldehyde was the most abundant species (0.05-39 microg m(-3)), which comprised from 22% to 37% of the total measured compounds, followed by acetaldehyde (4.32-49 microg m(-3)), acetone/acrolein (0.64-198 microg m(-3)) and butanal (0.79-140 microg m(-3)). The mean formaldehyde/acetaldehyde and acetaldehyde/propanal molar ratios were calculated. No significant seasonal differences were observed for all the carbonyls. Photochemical production was found to weigh upon atmospheric levels for 83-93% in summer days, dropping below 33% in the winter. The importance of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde as a source of hydroxyl radicals in Athens was also assessed.