Identification of atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and carbonyl compounds in Hong Kong

K. F. Ho, Shuncheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and carbonyl compounds are the major organic pollutants in the atmosphere. Emissions from motor vehicles have been one of the primary pollution sources in the metropolitan area of Hong Kong. A 12-month monitoring program for VOCs, PAHs and carbonyl compounds was performed at a roadside urban station at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) in order to determine the correlations of each selected pollutant. The monitoring program ran from 16 April 1999 to 10 April 2000 for a period of 1 year, and a 2-week winter intensive sampling was carried out during January 2000. Traditionally, emission sources are identified from organic compounds in air particulates. Since many of the gaseous and particulate phases of organic compounds are from the same sources, correlations between the major exhausts are to be expected. Therefore, it would be more effective to apportion the sources using the combined gaseous and particulate phases of organic compounds. Correlations of selected pollutants within two other toxic air pollutants (TAPs) monitoring stations in Tsuen Wan (TW) and Central/Western (CW) were analyzed. Good correlations were found between pollutants that came from vehicle exhaust, especially in intensive sampling periods at HKPU roadside station. This was because the washing out effect for particulates during rainy days and photochemical degradation during high solar radiation were minimized in wintertime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2002


  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Correlation
  • Hong Kong
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Roadside air monitoring station
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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