Articles | Volume 7, issue 13
09 Jul 2007
09 Jul 2007

Source apportionment of the particulate PAHs at Seoul, Korea: impact of long range transport to a megacity

J. Y. Lee and Y. P. Kim

Abstract. Northeast Asia including China, Korea, and Japan is one of the world's largest fossil fuel consumption regions. Seoul, Korea, is a megacity in Northeast Asia. Its emissions of air pollutants can affect the region, and in turn it is also affected by regional emissions. To understand the extent of these influences, major sources of ambient particulate PAHs in Seoul were identified and quantified based on measurements made between August 2002 and December 2003. The chemical mass balance (CMB) model was applied. Seven major emission sources were identified based on the emission data in Seoul and Northeast Asia: Gasoline and diesel vehicles, residential coal use, coke ovens, coal power plants, biomass burning, and natural gas (NG) combustion. The major sources of particulate PAHs in Seoul during the whole measurement period were gasoline and diesel vehicles, together accounted for 31% of the measured particulate PAHs levels. However, the source contributions showed distinct daily and seasonal variations. High contributions of biomass burning and coal (residential and coke oven) were observed in fall and winter, accounting for 63% and 82% of the total concentration of PAHs, respectively. Since these sources were not strong in and around Seoul, they are likely to be related to transport from outside of Seoul, from China and/or North Korea. This implies that the air quality in a mega-city such as Seoul can be influenced by the long range transport of air pollutants such as PAHs.

Final-revised paper