The characteristics and sources of roadside VOCs in Hong Kong: Effect of the LPG catalytic converter replacement programme

Long Cui, Hai Wei Li, Yu Huang, Zhou Zhang, Shun Cheng Lee, Donald Ray Blake, Xin Ming Wang, Kin Fai Ho, Jun Ji Cao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In order to improve local air quality of Hong Kong, more than 99% taxies and public light buses were changed from diesel to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel type in the early 2000s. In addition to the catalytic converters wear and tear, it is necessary to control air pollutants emitted from LPG vehicles. Therefore, an LPG catalytic converter replacement programme (CCRP) was fulfilled from October 2013 to April 2014 by the Hong Kong government. Roadside volatile compounds (VOCs) were measured by on-line measurement techniques before and after the programme to evaluate the effectiveness of the LPG CCRP. The mixing ratios of total measured VOCs were found decreased from 69.3 ± 12.6 ppbv to 43.9 ± 6.5 ppbv after the LPG CCRP with the decreasing percentage of 36.7%. In addition, the total mixing ratio of LPG tracers, namely propane, i-butane, and n-butane, accounted for 49% of total measured VOCs before the LPG CCRP and the weighting percentage decreased to 34% after the programme. Moreover, the source apportionment of roadside VOCs also reflects the large decreasing trend of LPG vehicular emissions after the air pollution control measure. Due to the application of PTR-MS on measuring real-time VOCs and oxygenated volatile compounds (OVOCs) in this study, the emission ratios of individual OVOCs were investigated and being utilized to differentiate primary and secondary/biogenic sources of roadside OVOCs in Hong Kong. The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the intervention programme, and are helpful to further implementation of air pollution control strategies in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143811
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


  • Emission ratio
  • LPG emission
  • PTR-MS
  • Secondary source
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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