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J Environ Monit. 2012 Apr;14(4):1145-52. doi: 10.1039/c2em10884d. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

Pollution characteristics of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere of Haicang District in Xiamen City, Southeast China.

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  • 1Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China.


The compositions, spatial distributions, seasonal variations and ozone formation potential (OFP) of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were investigated in the atmosphere of Haicang District, Xiamen City, Southeast China. Twenty-four types of VOCs were measured in this study, and ethanol, methylene chloride, toluene, ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol were the abundant species based on concentration rank. The concentrations of total VOCs (TVOCs) in industrial areas were higher than those in residential and administrative areas and background site. For industrial areas, the TVOCs concentrations in summer were higher than those in winter, which might result from higher emissions from industrial activities because of stronger evaporation in summer. In contrast, non-industrial areas showed higher concentrations in winter due to the unfavorable meteorological conditions. The spatial distribution of BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene) followed the order of industrial areas > residential and administrative areas > background site, and the concentrations in summer were lower than those in winter for most sites. The high ratios (8.9-14.0) of T/B in this study indicated that industrial emissions were the main sources in this district. X/B ratios were used to assess the ages of air parcels and provided evidence of the transport of air parcels among these sites. Total OFP (TOFP) showed the trend of increase with the increase of TVOCs, and toluene was found as the major contributor to TOFP.

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