Next Article in Journal
Long-Range Transport of Water Channelized through the Southern Subtropical Jet
Previous Article in Journal
PAN–Precursor Relationship and Process Analysis of PAN Variations in the Pearl River Delta Region
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 373;

Characteristics and Source Apportionment of Summertime Volatile Organic Compounds in a Fast Developing City in the Yangtze River Delta, China

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences, Nanjing 210036, China
Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology (CICAEET), Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control & Resource Reuse and School of the Environment, Nanjing University, 163 Xianlin Ave., Nanjing 210023, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1543 KB, uploaded 25 September 2018]   |  


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are crucial for ozone formation in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) in China. The characteristics of ambient VOCs in Nantong, a fast developing city in the YRD, were studied. Sixty ambient air samples were taken at five sites in three sampling days during summer time. One hundred and five VOCs were measured, showing that VOC concentration varied between 27.5 ppbv to 33.1 ppbv at five sites; these levels were generally lower than those for some big Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. With larger fractions of alkanes, the Zilang (ZL) and Sanqu (SQ) sites had relatively higher VOC concentrations among the five sites. The oxidation formation potential (OFP) and secondary aerosol formation potential (SOAFP) were estimated to be 125 μg/m3 and 0.76 μg/m3, respectively. These two values were smaller than those in other big cities, as they were dominated by aromatic compounds (e.g., toluene and benzene) of which concentrations in Nantong were found to be lower. The highest toluene concentration was measured in ZL, implying substantial effects of surface coating industry near the site. Through the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model, the identified sources of VOCs included LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) combustion (13.9%), chemical industry (8.5%), natural gas use (15.6%), gasoline evaporation (12.8%), petrol industry use (11.8%), solvent use (16.2%) vehicle exhausts (12.1%) and surface coating (9.2%). A relatively small contribution from vehicles was found in Nantong compared with other big cities. Moreover, LPG emissions were identified to be relatively important in Nantong, indicated by the large mass fraction of propane and ethane concentrations in the atmosphere. View Full-Text
Keywords: VOCs; OFP; SOAFP; source apportionment; China VOCs; OFP; SOAFP; source apportionment; China

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Zhao, Q.; Shen, G.; Liu, Q.; Li, C.; Zhou, D.; Wang, S. Characteristics and Source Apportionment of Summertime Volatile Organic Compounds in a Fast Developing City in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 373.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Atmosphere EISSN 2073-4433 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top