Characterization of ambient volatile organic compounds at a landfill site in Guangzhou, South China

S. C. Zou, S. C. Lee, C. Y. Chan, K. F. Ho, X. M. Wang, L. Y. Chan, Z. X. Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

166 Citations (Scopus)


Ambient air monitoring was conducted at Datianshan landfill, Guangzhou, South China in 1998 to investigate the seasonal and horizontal variations of trace volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Twelve sampling points over the Datianshan landfill were selected and samples were collected simultaneously using Carbontrap™ adsorption tubes. Thirty eight VOCs were detected in the winter, whereas 60 were detected in the summer. The VOC levels measured in summer were alkanes, 0.5-6.5 μg/m3; aromatics, 2.3-1667 μg/m3; chlorinated species, 0.2-31 μg/m3; terpines, 0.1-34 μg/m3; carbonyl species, 0.3-5.6 μg/m3and naphthalene and its derivatives, 0.4-27 μg/m3. Compared to the summer samples the VOC levels in winter were much lower (mostly 1-2 orders of magnitude lower). The aromatics are dominant VOCs in landfill air both in winter and summer. High levels of alkylbenzene and terpines such as methyl-isopropylbenzene (max 1667 μg/m3) and limonene (max 162 μg/m3) cause undesirable odor. The similar correlation coefficients of BTEX in summer and winter suggest VOCs emissions were from landfill site sources. The variation of BTEX ratio at landfill site is different from that in the urban area of Guangzhou. It shows that the ambient VOCs at landfill site were different from the urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1022
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Guangzhou, China
  • Landfill
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of ambient volatile organic compounds at a landfill site in Guangzhou, South China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this