Source apportionment of ambient volatile organic compounds in the Pearl River Delta, China: Part II

Ying Liu, Min Shao, Sihua Lu, Chih Chung Chang, Jia Lin Wang, Linlin Fu

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176 Scopus citations


The chemical mass balance receptor model was applied to the source apportionment of 58 hydrocarbons measured at seven sites in a field campaign that examined regional air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region in the fall of 2004. A total of 12 volatile organic compound (VOC) emission sources were considered, including gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicle exhausts, headspace vapors of gasoline and diesel fuel, vehicle evaporative emissions, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) leakage, paint vapors, asphalt emissions from paved roads, biomass combustion, coal combustion, the chemical industry, and petroleum refineries. Vehicle exhaust was the largest source of VOCs, contributing to >50% of ambient VOCs at the three urban sites (Guangzhou, Foshan, and Zhongshan). LPG leakage played an important role, representing 8-16% of emissions at most sites in the PRD. Solvent usage was the biggest emitter of VOCs at Dongguan, an industrial site, contributing 33% of ambient VOCs. Similarly, at Xinken, a non-urban site, the evaporation of solvents and coatings was the largest emission source, accounting for 31% of emissions, probably because it was downwind of Dongguan. Local biomass combustion was a noticeable source of VOCs at Xinken; although its contribution was estimated at 14.3%, biomass combustion was the third largest VOC source at this site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6261-6274
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number25
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Chemical mass balance model
  • Pearl River Delta
  • Source apportionment
  • Volatile organic compounds


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