Particle-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban air of Hong Kong

Hai Guo, Shuncheng Lee, K. F. Ho, X. M. Wang, S. C. Zou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

556 Citations (Scopus)


PM2.5and PM10samples were collected at two sampling sites in Hong Kong in wintertime from November 2000 to March 2001 and in summertime from June to August 2001. The concentrations of 16 selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in aerosols were quantified. Spatial and seasonal variations of PAHs were characterized. The dominated PAHs in PM2.5and PM10included benzo[b]fluoranthene, pyrene, fluoranthene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene and chrysene, accounting for 50-82% of total PAHs. The sum of 16 PAHs in PM2.5at roadside ranged from 3 to 330ng/m3, and in PM10between 5 and 297ng/m3, whereas at a residential/industrial/commercial site, the total PAHs in PM2.5was from 0.5 to 122ng/m3, and 2-269ng/m3in PM10. Results indicated that most of the PAHs were in the PM2.5fraction. Spatial variations were predominantly due to the difference of source strength. For both PM2.5and PM10, the total PAHs at PU site was higher than that at KT site. The average concentrations of individual PAHs in aerosols at PU site were also higher than that at KT site. Higher winter PAHs concentrations and lower summer concentrations were observed at the two sites. Higher winter PAHs concentrations were mainly caused by local emission sources superimposed by highly polluted air masses from Mainland China. The lower summer PAHs concentrations were likely due to easier dispersion of air pollutants, washout effects and to a lesser extent, photo-degradation and higher percentage in the air in vapor phase. Potential sources of PAHs in aerosols were identified using the diagnostic ratios between PAHs and PCA analysis. At PU site, vehicular emissions were the main contributors of particle-associated PAHs, and stationary combustion sources may also contribute to the particulate PAHs. On the contrary, at the KT site, PAHs in aerosols were predominantly from gasoline and diesel engines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5307-5317
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Diagnostic ratios
  • Hong Kong
  • PM 10
  • PM 2.5
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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