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Environ Monit Assess. 2012 Dec;184(12):7235-46. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-2493-9. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Characteristics of atmospheric non-methane hydrocarbons during haze episode in Beijing, China.

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School of Environment Studies, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China.


This study firstly focused on non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) during three successive days with haze episode (16-18 August 2006) in Beijing. Concentrations of alkanes, alkenes, aromatic hydrocarbons, and ethyne all peaked at traffic rush hour, implying vehicular emission; and alkanes also peaked at non-traffic rush hour in the daytime, implying additional source. Especially, alkanes and aromatics clearly showed higher levels in the nighttime than that in the daytime, implying their active photochemical reactions in the daytime. Correlation coefficients (R (2)) showed that propane, n-butane, i-butane, ethene, propene, and benzene correlated with ethyne (R (2) = 0.61-0.66), suggesting that their main source is vehicular emission; 2-methylpentane and n-hexane correlated with i-pentane (R (2) = 0.61-0.64), suggesting that gasoline evaporation is their main source; and ethylbezene, m-/p-xylene, and o-xylene correlated with toluene (R (2) = 0.60-0.79), suggesting that their main source is similar to that of toluene (e.g., solvent usage). The R (2) of ethyne, i-pentane, and toluene with total NMHCs were 0.58, 0.76, and 0.60, respectively, indicating that ambient hydrocarbons are associated with vehicular emission, gasoline evaporation, and solvent usage. The sources of other hydrocarbons (e.g., ethane) might be natural gas leakage, biogenic emission, or long-range transport of air pollutants. Measured higher mean B/T ratio (0.78 ± 0.27) was caused by the more intensive photochemical activity of toluene than benzene, still indicating the dominant emission from vehicles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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