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Sensors 2010, 10(8), 7843-7862; doi:10.3390/s100807843

Characteristics of Ambient Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Measured in Shanghai, China

1,* , 3
1 Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, 166 Puxi Road, Shanghai 200135, China 2 Key Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics & Environment, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, 219 Ningliu Road, Pukou District, Nanjing 210044, China 3 National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1850 Table Mesa Dr., Boulder, CO 80307, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2010 / Revised: 3 July 2010 / Accepted: 9 August 2010 / Published: 20 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct and Indirect Sensing of Odor and VOCs and Their Control)
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To better understand the characteristics of ambient abundance of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in Shanghai, one of the biggest metropolis of China, VOCs were measured with a gas chromatography system equipped with a mass-selective detector (GC/MSD) from July 2006 to February 2010. An intensive measurement campaign was conducted (eight samples per day with a 3 hour interval) during May 2009. The comparison of ambient VOCs collected in different regions of Shanghai shows that the concentrations are slightly higher in the busy commercial area (28.9 ppbv at Xujiaui) than in the urban administrative area (24.3 ppbv at Pudong). However, during the intensive measurement period, the concentrations in the large steel industrial area (28.7 ppbv at Baoshan) were much higher than in the urban administrative area (18 ppbv at Pudong), especially for alkanes, alkenes, and toluene. The seasonal variations of ambient VOC concentrations measured at the Xujiahui sampling site indicate that the VOC concentrations are significantly affected by meteorological conditions (such as wind direction and precipitation). In addition, although alkanes are the most abundant VOCs at the Xujiahui measurement site, the most important VOCs contributing to ozone formation potential (OFP) are aromatics, accounting for 57% of the total OFP. The diurnal variations of VOC concentrations show that VOC concentrations are higher on weekdays than in weekends at the Xujiahui sampling site, suggesting that traffic condition and human activities have important impacts on VOC emissions in Shanghai. The evidence also shows that the major sources of isoprene are mainly resulted from gasoline evaporation at a particular time (06:00–09:00) in the busy commercial area. The results gained from this study provide useful information for better understanding the characteristics of ambient VOCs and the sources of VOCs in Shanghai.
Keywords: volatile organic compounds (VOCs); seasonal variation; ozone formation potential (OFP); diurnal variation; weekend effect volatile organic compounds (VOCs); seasonal variation; ozone formation potential (OFP); diurnal variation; weekend effect
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Cai, C.-J.; Geng, F.-H.; Tie, X.-X.; Yu, Q.; Peng, L.; Zhou, G.-Q. Characteristics of Ambient Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Measured in Shanghai, China. Sensors 2010, 10, 7843-7862.

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