Carbonaceous characteristics of atmospheric particulate matter in Hong Kong

K. F. Ho, Shuncheng Lee, Jimmy C. Yu, S. C. Zou, Kochy Fung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


To determine the characteristic of carbonaceous species in atmospheric particles in Hong Kong, PM10and PM2.5samples were collected using high volume (hi-vol.) air samplers from November 2000 to February 2001. The organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were analyzed by the selective thermal manganese dioxide oxidation (TMO) method. The ratios of PM2.5/PM10mass ratios were 0.61, 0.78 and 0.53 for particulate matter collected at PolyU station (PolyU, near a major traffic corridor), Kwun Tong station (KT, mixed residential/commercial/industrial) and the Hok Tsui background station (HT), respectively. These results indicate that the PM2.5concentrations constitute the majority of the PM10concentrations, especially in urban and industrial areas of Hong Kong. The average concentrations at the three sites ranged from 73.11 to 83.52 μg/m3for PM10and from 42.37 to 57.38 μg/m3for PM2.5. The highest daily mass concentrations of PM10and PM2.5were 125.89 μg/m3and 116.89 μg/m3at KT, respectively. The correlation between PM10and PM2.5was high at KT and HT (r>0.9, P<0.01). This means that the sources of PM10and PM2.5may be the same at both sites. The highest mean concentration of OC (12.02 μg/m3) and EC (6.86 μg/m3) in PM10was found at the PolyU among the three sites. For PM2.5, the highest mean concentration of OC (10.16 μg/m3) was at KT while the highest mean concentration of EC (7.95 μg/m3) was at PolyU. However, the background concentrations at HT were higher than another background area, Kosan, Korea. Transportation of pollutants from the Asian continent may be responsible for the elevations of EC+OC at the remote site. More than 74% of the EC and more than 79% of the OC were found in the PM2.5fraction at the three sampling locations. At PolyU station, PM2.5consisted of 18.18% OC and 11.16% EC while 17.70% OC and 8.81% EC were found in KT station. Thus OC and EC are major constituents of aerosols in Hong Kong. OC/EC ratios for PM10and PM2.5were less than 2 at PolyU and KT stations while the ratio exceeded 3 at HT background station. This indicates that OC measured in the urban area may be emitted directly as a primary aerosol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2002


  • Elemental carbon
  • Hong Kong
  • OC/EC ratio
  • Organic carbon
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Carbonaceous characteristics of atmospheric particulate matter in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this