Characteristics of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)-Bound n-Alkanes and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a Hong Kong Suburban Area

Yuan Gao, Zhenhao Ling, Zhuozhi Zhang, Shuncheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


PM2.5 samples were collected at Tung Chung (TC), Hong Kong, during four nonconsecutive months in 2011/2012 to determine the concentrations, seasonal variations, and potential sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and n-alkanes (n-C15-n-C35 ). Samples were analyzed using the thermal desorption gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) method. The concentrations of particulate PAHs ranged from 1.26–13.93 ng/m3 with a mean value of 2.57 ng/m3, dominated by 4-ring species. Phenanthrene (Phe) and fluoranthene (Flu) were the two most abundant species, accounting for 13% and 18%, respectively. The dominant sources of PAHs were coal and biomass burning. The inhalation cancer risk value in our study exceeded 1 × 10−6 but was below 1 × 10−4, implying that the inhalation cancer risk of PAHs at the TC site is acceptable. The average concertation of n-alkanes was 103.21 ng/m3 (ranging from 38.58 to 191.44 ng/m3 ), and C25 was the most abundant species. Both PAHs and n-alkanes showed higher concentrations in autumn and winter whilst these values were lowest in summer. The carbon preference index (CPI) and percent contribution of wax n-alkanes showed that biogenic sources were the major sources. The annual average contributions of higher plant wax to n-alkanes at TC were over 40%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number980
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • fine particulate matter (PM )
  • n-alkanes
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • suburban area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristics of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)-Bound n-Alkanes and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a Hong Kong Suburban Area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this