Low molecular weight dicarboxylic acids, ketoacids, and dicarbonyls in the fine particles from a roadway tunnel: Possible secondary production from the precursors

Haobo Wang, Kimitaka Kawamura, K. F. Ho, Shuncheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Low molecular weight dicarboxylic acids (DCAs), ketoacids, and α-dicarbonyls have been determined for the PM2.5samples in a Hong Kong roadway tunnel, using a water extraction followed by a butyl ester and/or dibutyl acetal derivatization technique. For the most wintertime sampling runs, outlet and inlet concentrations of the quantified compounds were found to be quite similar (ca. 10% differences), leading to the conclusion that direct emissions of the organic compounds are insignificant from vehicles in hot-stabilized operations although vehicular emissions can provide important precursors to them. In contrast, a significant concentration increase of most compounds was observed at the outlet station compared to the inlet station in the summertime runs, which might be explained by the secondary production of aerosols in the tunnel. The organic compounds studied comprised a small fraction (<1%) of aerosol organic carbon (OC). In winter, their abundances relative to that of OC in outlet samples were found to be significantly less than those in inlet samples. On the basis of the summer data, apparent secondary production factors of the compounds were calculated, which indicate that adipic and m-phthalic acids can be favorably formed in the tunnel. However, like other DCAs, direct emissions of adipic, m-phthalic, and p-phthalic acids from automobiles are suggested to be insignificant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6255-6260
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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