Articles | Volume 8, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 4983–4996, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 4983–4996, 2008

  28 Aug 2008

28 Aug 2008

Source characteristics of volatile organic compounds during high ozone episodes in Hong Kong, Southern China

J. Zhang1,2, T. Wang3, W. L. Chameides2,*, C. Cardelino2, D. R. Blake4, and D. G. Streets5 J. Zhang et al.
  • 1School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
  • 2School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • *now at: Nicholas School, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • 3Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • 4Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, California, USA
  • 5Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA

Abstract. Measurements of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are analyzed to characterize the sources impacting the Hong Kong area. The ratios of different VOC species, m,p-xylenes-to-ethylbenzene, C6H14-to-toluene and p-xylene-to-total xylenes are used for diagnostic analyses. Photochemical age analysis shows that the sources of reactive aromatics, the most important contributor to the photochemical reactivity, do not appear to be preferentially located in downtown Hong Kong. In addition, they do not appear to be dominated by mobile emissions based on the analyses of speciated VOC data from an earlier study, but related to industrial, waterfront, and fuel-storage activities. The ratios, p-xylene-to-total xylenes and dSO2/dNOy, suggest that the anomalously high pollutant concentrations in western Hong Kong in the early morning hours of two episode days appear to have come from transport of urban-type emissions. Comparison of observed ambient ratios of selected VOC and their ratios in the speciated VOC emission inventories for Hong Kong and adjacent Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region gives mixed results. The observed ratio C6H14-to-toluene is consistent with the speciated version of the VOC emission inventory. The ratios of selected alkanes are not. This may be caused by the inaccuracies in the inventory and/or the speciation method.

Final-revised paper