Characterization of selected volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and carbonyl compounds at a roadside monitoring station

K. F. Ho, Shuncheng Lee, Gloria M.Y. Chiu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PAHs and carbonyl compounds are the major toxic components in Hong Kong. Emissions from motor vehicles have been one of the primary pollution sources in the metropolitan areas throughout Hong Kong for a long time. A 1-yr monitoring program for VOCs, PAHs and carbonyl compounds had been performed at a roadside urban station at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in order to determine the variations and correlations of each selected species (VOCs, PAHs and carbonyl compounds). This study is aimed to analyze toxic volatile organic compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), two carbonyl compounds (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde), and selective polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The monitoring program started from 16 April 1999 to 30 March 2000. Ambient VOC concentrations, many of which originate from the same sources as particulate PAHs and carbonyls compounds, show significant quantities of benzene, toluene and xylenes. Correlations and multivariate analysis of selected gaseous and particulate phase organic pollutants were performed. Source identification by principle component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis allowed the identification of four sources (factors) for the roadside monitoring station. Factor 1 represents the effect of diesel vehicle exhaust. Factor 2 shows the contribution of aromatic compounds. Factor 3 explains photochemical products - formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Factor 4 explains the effect of gasoline vehicle exhaust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2002


  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Multivariate analysis
  • PAHs
  • Roadside
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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