Characterization of chemical components of fresh and aged aerosol from vehicle exhaust emissions in Hong Kong.

Ka Hei Lui (Corresponding Author), Yik-Sze Lau, Hon-Yin Poon, Bruce Organ, Man-Nin Chan, Hai Guo, Steven Sai Hang Ho, K.F. Ho (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The chemical properties of fresh and aged aerosol emitted during controlled vehicular exhaust emissions were characterized in the analysis. Pyrene (10417.1 ± 534.9 ng kg −1) is the most abundant of all analyzed compounds in total fresh emission and succinic acid (57359.8 ± 4000.3 ng kg −1) is for the total aged emission. The fresh emission factors (EF fresh) of all compounds in the n-alkanes group demonstrate higher average emissions for the two vehicles with EURO 3 standard compared to the other vehicles. The EF fresh for benzo [a]pyrene is in descending order: G1 (183.1 ± 144.7 ng kg −1) > G3 (103.4 ± 60.1 ng kg −1) > G4 (91.2 ± 80.1 ng kg −1) > G2 (88.6 ± 93.9 ng kg −1). Aged/fresh (A/F) emission ratios (>20) confirmed that these diacid compounds are generated by the photooxidation of primary pollutants that emitted from gasoline combustions. High A/F ratios (>200) in phthalic acid, isophthalic acid and terephthalic acid under idling mode imply relatively more intense photochemical reactions for their productions compared with other chemical groups. Strong positive correlations (r > 0.6) were observed between the degradation of toluene and formations of pinonic acid, succinic acid, adipic acid, terephthalic acid, glutaric acid and citramalic acid after the aging process, suggesting possible photooxidation of toluene that can lead to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation in the urban atmosphere. The findings demonstrate that vehicle emission standards for pollution in relation to the change of particulate matter chemical compositions and SOA formations. The results warrant a need for regulated reformulation for such vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138940
Issue number138940
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Atmospheric aging
  • Chemical components
  • Photochemistry
  • Secondary organic aerosol
  • Vehicular exhaust aerosols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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