Implications of changing urban and rural emissions on non-methane hydrocarbons in the Pearl River Delta region of China

J. H. Tang, L. Y. Chan, C. Y. Chan, Yok Sheung Li, C. C. Chang, X. M. Wang, S. C. Zou, Barbara Barletta, D. R. Blake, Dui Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Guangzhou (GZ) is one of the highly industrialized and economically vibrant cities in China, yet it remains relatively understudied in terms of its air quality, which has become severely degraded. In this study, extensive air sampling campaigns had been conducted at GZ urban sites and in Dinghu Mountain (DM), a rural site, in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) during the spring of 2001 and 2005. Additionally, roadside and tunnel samples were collected in GZ in 2000 and 2005. Later, exhaust samples from liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)- and gasoline-fueled taxis were collected in 2006. All samples were analyzed for C2-C10non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs). NMHC profiles showed significant differences in the exhaust samples between gasoline- and LPG-fueled taxis. Propane (47%) was the dominant hydrocarbon in the exhaust of the LPG-fueled taxis, while ethene (35%) was the dominant one in that of gasoline-fueled taxis. The use of LPG-fueled buses and taxis since 2003 and the leakage from these LPG-fueled vehicles were the major factors for the much higher level of propane in GZ urban area in 2005 compared to 2001. The mixing ratios of toluene, ethylbenzene, m/p-xylene and o-xylene decreased at the GZ and DM sites between 2001 and 2005, especially for toluene in GZ, despite the sharp increase in the number of registered motor vehicles in GZ. This phenomenon was driven in part by the closure of polluting industries as well as the upgrading of the road network in urban GZ and in part by the implementation of more stringent emission standards for polluting industries and motor vehicles in the PRD region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3780-3794
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008


  • Guangzhou
  • Industrial emissions
  • LPG
  • NMHCs
  • PRD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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