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Characteristics of Summertime Volatile Organic Compounds in the Lower Free Troposphere: Background Measurements at Mt. Fuji

Category: Observations of aerosols at mountainous, coastal, and urban measurement sites

Volume: 17 | Issue: 12 | Pages: 3037-3051
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.04.0144
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To cite this article:
Ou-Yang, C.F., Chang, C.C., Wang, J.L., Shimada, K., Hatakeyama, S., Kato, S., Chiu, J.Y., Sheu, G.R. and Lin, N.H. (2017). Characteristics of Summertime Volatile Organic Compounds in the Lower Free Troposphere: Background Measurements at Mt. Fuji. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 3037-3051. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.04.0144.

Chang-Feng Ou-Yang1, Chih-Chung Chang 2, Jia-Lin Wang3, Kojiro Shimada4, Shiro Hatakeyama4, Shungo Kato5, Jia-Yang Chiu1, Guey-Rong Sheu1, Neng-Huei Lin 1

  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Chung-Li 32001, Taiwan
  • 2 Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Chemistry, National Central University, Chung-Li 32001, Taiwan
  • 4 Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan
  • 5 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan


VOC measurements were conducted at Mt. Fuji in the summers of 2015 and 2016.
Significant differences in VOC concentrations resulted from air mass originations.
R-150, R-150a, and p-DCB were observed for the first time in northern East Asia.
The n/i-pentane ratios at Mt. Fuji and other mountain sites are summarized.


Air samples were collected at Mt. Fuji Research Station (FRS) for the measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the summers of 2015 and 2016. In this study, 24 compounds were analyzed, of which only 12 halocarbons were quantified in 2015. The average total concentrations of target VOCs were 2.62 ± 1.38 and 2.99 ± 0.95 ppb in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The concentrations of individual VOCs ranged from a few ppt to a few ppb, indicating a highly inhomogeneous feature at the FRS. A cluster analysis of 3-day backward trajectories was performed for the sampling time. Except for the aromatic compounds, the VOCs showed relatively low concentrations in association with air masses originating from the coastal region in the low latitudes (15°N–35°N) of East Asia in 2015. By contrast, the clusters with elevated VOC concentrations mainly came from the high latitudes (35°N–60°N) of the Asian continent in 2016. No particular diurnal pattern was found for VOCs and CO, which might have resulted from suppressed mountain-valley winds at the FRS. Halocarbons regulated by the Montreal Protocol showed low variability and were in favorable agreement with background values at the Gosan station (GSN) and those reported in the literature. Other partially halogenated compounds with higher variability, such as CH3Cl and CHCl3, showed discrepancies at the FRS and GSN. 1,2-dichloroethane (R-150), 1,1-dichloroethane (R-150a), and 1,4-dichlorobenzene (p-DCB) were also measured at the FRS with concentrations of 24 ± 14, 38 ± 13, and 13 ± 10 ppt, respectively, in 2015. A close relationship between n-pentane and i-pentane with R2 more than 0.85 was found in both 2015 and 2016. Low ratios of n/i-pentane ranging from 0.25 to 0.67 were observed in the free troposphere at the FRS, comparable to most mountain stations.


Mt. Fuji Research Station (FRS) Mt. Fuji Weather Station (FWS) Volatile organic compound (VOC) Ozone-depleting substance (ODS) Halocarbons Pentane Dichloroethane 1,4-dichlorobenzene Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

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