Evaluation of the effectiveness of air pollution control measures in Hong Kong

X. P. Lyu, L. W. Zeng, H. Guo, I. J. Simpson, Z. H. Ling, Y. Wang, F. Murray, P. K.K. Louie, S. M. Saunders, S. H.M. Lam, D. R. Blake

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


From 2005 to 2013, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other trace gases were continuously measured at a suburban site in Hong Kong. The measurement data showed that the concentrations of most air pollutants decreased during these years. However, ozone (O3) and total non-methane hydrocarbon levels increased with the rate of 0.23 ± 0.03 and 0.34 ± 0.02 ppbv/year, respectively, pointing to the increasing severity of photochemical pollution in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government has ongoing programs to improve air quality in Hong Kong, including a solvent program implemented during 2007–2011, and a diesel commercial vehicle (DCV) program since 2007. From before to after the solvent program, the sum of toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene isomers decreased continuously with an average rate of −99.1 ± 6.9 pptv/year, whereas the sum of ethene and propene increased by 48.2 ± 2.0 pptv/year from before to during the DCV program. Despite this, source apportionment results showed that VOCs emitted from diesel exhaust decreased at a rate of −304.5 ± 17.7 pptv/year, while solvent related VOCs decreased at a rate of −204.7 ± 39.7 pptv/year. The gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas vehicle emissions elevated by 1086 ± 34 pptv/year, and were responsible for the increases of ethene and propene. Overall, the simulated O3 rate of increase was lowered from 0.39 ± 0.03 to 0.16 ± 0.05 ppbv/year by the solvent and DCV programs, because O3 produced by solvent usage and diesel exhaust related VOCs decreased (p < 0.05) by 0.16 ± 0.01 and 0.05 ± 0.01 ppbv/year between 2005 and 2013, respectively. However, enhanced VOC emissions from gasoline and LPG vehicles accounted for most of the O3 increment (0.09 ± 0.01 out of 0.16 ± 0.05 ppbv/year) in these years. To maintain a zero O3 increment in 2020 relative to 2010, the lowest reduction ratio of VOCs/NOx was ∼1.5 under the NOx reduction of 20–30% which was based on the emission reduction plan for Pearl River Delta region in 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Air pollution
  • Control measures
  • MCM
  • Ozone
  • Photochemical pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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