Articles | Volume 15, issue 14
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 7945–7959, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-7945-2015
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 7945–7959, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-7945-2015

Research article 20 Jul 2015

Research article | 20 Jul 2015

Characterization of ambient volatile organic compounds and their sources in Beijing, before, during, and after Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation China 2014

J. Li, S. D. Xie, L. M. Zeng, L. Y. Li, Y. Q. Li, and R. R. Wu J. Li et al.
  • College of Environmental Science and Engineering, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, Peking University, Beijing, China

Abstract. Ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured using an online system, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry/flame ionization detector (GC-MS/FID), in Beijing, China, before, during, and after Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) China 2014, when stringent air quality control measures were implemented. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to identify the major VOC contributing sources and their temporal variations. The secondary organic aerosols potential (SOAP) approach was used to estimate variations of precursor source contributions to SOA formation. The average VOC mixing ratios during the three periods were 86.17, 48.28, and 72.97 ppbv, respectively. The mixing ratios of total VOC during the control period were reduced by 44 %, and the mixing ratios of acetonitrile, halocarbons, oxygenated VOCs (OVOCs), aromatics, acetylene, alkanes, and alkenes decreased by approximately 65, 62, 54, 53, 37, 36, and 23 %, respectively. The mixing ratios of all measured VOC species decreased during control, and the most affected species were chlorinated VOCs (chloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, chlorobenzene). PMF analysis indicated eight major sources of ambient VOCs, and emissions from target control sources were clearly reduced during the control period. Compared with the values before control, contributions of vehicular exhaust were most reduced, followed by industrial manufacturing and solvent utilization. Reductions of these three sources were responsible for 50, 26, and 16 % of the reductions in ambient VOCs. Contributions of evaporated or liquid gasoline and industrial chemical feedstock were slightly reduced, and contributions of secondary and long-lived species were relatively stable. Due to central heating, emissions from fuel combustion kept on increasing during the whole campaign; because of weak control of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), the highest emissions of LPG occurred in the control period. Vehicle-related sources were the most important precursor sources likely responsible for the reduction in SOA formation during this campaign.

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Short summary
Ambient VOCs were measured at an urban site in Beijing before, during, and after APEC China 2014, when air quality control measures were implemented. PMF was applied to identify the major VOCs sources and their temporal variations. SOAP approach was used to estimate variations of precursor source contributions to SOA . Our results indicate that the stringent air quality restrictions have been successful, and controls on vehicles were the most important measures to VOCs.
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