Evolution of Ozone Pollution in China: What Track Will It Follow?

Jia Guo, Xiaoshan Zhang, Yi Gao, Zhangwei Wang, Meigen Zhang, Wenbo Xue, Hartmut Herrmann, Guy Pierre Brasseur, Tao Wang, Zhe Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing surface ozone (O3) concentrations has emerged as a key air pollution problem in many urban regions worldwide in the last decade. A longstanding major issue in tackling ozone pollution is the identification of the O3 formation regime and its sensitivity to precursor emissions. In this work, we propose a new transformed empirical kinetic modeling approach (EKMA) to diagnose the O3 formation regime using regulatory O3 and NO2 observation datasets, which are easily accessible. We demonstrate that mapping of monitored O3 and NO2 data on the modeled regional O3-NO2 relationship diagram can illustrate the ozone formation regime and historical evolution of O3 precursors of the region. By applying this new approach, we show that for most urban regions of China, the O3 formation is currently associated with a volatile organic compound (VOC)-limited regime, which is located within the zone of daytime-produced O3 (DPO3) to an 8h-NO2 concentration ratio below 8.3 ([DPO3]/[8h-NO2] ≤ 8.3). The ozone production and controlling effects of VOCs and NOx in different cities of China were compared according to their historical O3-NO2 evolution routes. The approach developed herein may have broad application potential for evaluating the efficiency of precursor controls and further mitigating O3 pollution, in particular, for regions where comprehensive photochemical studies are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023


  • air pollution mitigation
  • diagnosis approach
  • ozone formation regime
  • ozone pollution
  • ozone−precursor relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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