Mei Ma

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Steven Bertman

Second Advisor

Dr. Jay Means

Third Advisor

Dr. John Chateauneuf

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Measurements of alkyl nitrates were performed during the Southern Oxidants Study (SOS) 1999 Summer Field Campaign in Dickson, TN from June 10 to July 15, 1999. The developed GC-ECD method was tested and used successfully. Nine alkyl nitrates were measured and six alkyl nitrates were quantified. The measured alkyl nitrates expect methyl nitrate showed higher mixing ratios under northeasterly and southeasterly wind, which brought anthropogenic sources to the measurement site, and lower mixing ratios when wind came from northwest and southwest, which brought NOx and clean air, respectively. The contribution of the measured alkyl nitrates to the total oxidized nitrogen species, NOy ranged from 1. 1 % and 1.9%, indicating that alkyl nitrates account for a small part of NOy in Dickson. The investigation of the ratios of alkyl nitrates from the - same parent hydrocarbons showed that the ratio of isopropyl nitrate with n-propyl nitrate had different behaviors from that of 2-butyl nitrate with n-butyl nitrate ratio. The relationship of n-propyl nitrate with propionyl nitrate was also studied. A photochemical box model was developed to study the relationship of alkyl nitrates and NOx. The test and comparison with a complex model indicated that the output of the model for alkyl nitrates was correct and efficient to study the chemistry of alkyl nitrates in troposphere. The results from the model for alkyl nitrates may imply that the sources of alkyl nitrates could vary with wind direction.

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