Sensitivity testing of the model set-up used for calculation of photochemical ozone creation potentials (POCP) under European conditions
Photochemical Ozone Creation Potentials (POCP) is a method to rank VOC, relative to other VOC, according to their ability to produce ground level ozone. To obtain POCP values valid under European conditions, a critical analysis of the POCP concept has been performed using the IVL photochemical trajectory model. The critical analysis has concentrated on three VOC (ethene, n-butane and o-xylene) and has analysed the effect on their POCP values when different model parameters were varied. The three species were chosen because of their different degradation mechanisms in the atmosphere and thus their different abilities to produce ozone. The model parameters which have been tested include background emissions, initial concentrations, dry deposition velocities, the features of the added point source and meteorological parameters. The critical analysis shows that the background emissions of NOx and VOC have a critical impact on the POCP values. The hour of the day for the point source emission also shows a large influence on the POCP values. Other model parameters which have been studied have not shown such large influence on the POCP values. Based on the critical analysis a model set-up for calculation of POCP is defined. The variations in POCP values due to changes in the background emissions of NOx and VOC are so large that they can not be disregarded in the calculation of POCP.