Variation of ambient non-methane hydrocarbons in Beijing city in summer 2008
- The State Joint Key Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Abstract. In conjunction with hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the municipal government implemented a series of stringent air quality control measures. To assess the impacts on variation of ambient non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), the whole air was sampled by canisters at one urban site and two suburban sites in Beijing, and 55 NMHC species were quantified by gas chromatography equipped with a quadrupole mass spectrometer and a flame ionization detector (GC/MSD/FID) as parts of the field Campaign for the Beijing Olympic Games Air Quality program (CareBeijing). According to the control measures, the data were presented according to four periods: 18–30 June, 8–19 July, 15–24 August (during the Olympic Games), and 6–15 September (during the Paralympic Games). Compared with the levels in June, the mixing ratios of NMHCs obtained in the Olympic and Paralympic Games periods were reduced by 35% and 25%, respectively. Source contributions were calculated using a chemical mass balance model (CMB 8.2). After implementing the control measures, emissions from target sources were obviously reduced, and reductions in vehicle exhaust could explain 48–82% of the reductions of ambient NMHCs. Reductions in emissions from gasoline evaporation, paint and solvent use, and the chemical industry contributed 9–40%, 3–24%, and 1–5%, respectively, to reductions of ambient NMHCs. Sources of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and biogenic emissions were not controlled, and contributions from these sources from July to September were stable or even higher than in June. Ozone formation potentials (OFPs) were calculated for the measured NMHCs. The total OFPs during the Olympic and Paralympic Games were reduced by 48% and 32%, respectively, compared with values in June. Reductions in the OFPs of alkenes and aromatics explained 77–92% of total OFP reductions. The alkenes and aromatics were mainly from vehicle exhausts, and reductions of vehicle exhaust gases explained 67–87% of reductions in alkenes and 38–80% of reductions in aromatics. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the air quality control measures enacted for the 2008 Olympics and indicate that controlling vehicular emissions could be the most important measure to improve air quality in Beijing.