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Environmental and Health Impacts of the Change in NMHCs Caused by the Usage of Clean Alternative Fuels for Vehicles

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.09.0459
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To cite this article:
Wu, D., Fei, L., Zhang, Z., Zhang, Y., Li, Y., Chan, C., Wang, X., Cen, C., Li, P. and Yu, L. (2020). Environmental and Health Impacts of the Change in NMHCs Caused by the Usage of Clean Alternative Fuels for Vehicles. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.09.0459.

Dalei Wu1, Leilei Fei 2,3,4, Zhisheng Zhang2,3, Yiqiang Zhang2,3, Youping Li5, Chuenyu Chan3, Xinming Wang4, Chaoping Cen2, Pu Li3,6, Lingwei Yu3,6

  • 1 Institute of Environment and Development, Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, Guangzhou 510635, China
  • 2 Key Laboratory of Water and Air Pollution Control of Guangdong Province, South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Guangzhou 510655, China
  • 3 Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • 4 State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Resources Utilization and Protection, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 5 College of Environmental Science and Engineering, China West Normal University, Nanchong 637009, China
  • 6 Guangzhou Scie-Work Environmental Protection Technology Co., Ltd., Guangzhou 510635, China


  • NMHCs in the exhausts from diesel, gasoline, LPG, LNG and CNG vehicles were analyzed.
  • The usage of CNG and LNG for vehicles could lead to reduction of O3 formation.
  • Clean alternative fuels had a positive health impact compared with gasoline.


Vehicle exhaust and roadside air samples were collected at Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu in China, where liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG)—common fuel alternatives for vehicles worldwide—are used, respectively. The emission characteristics, ozone formation potential (OFP) and health risks of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) in conventional and clean alternative fuel exhaust emitted by vehicles were assessed to explore the environmental and health effects from the change in NMHCs due to using clean alternative fuels. Our results indicate that the fuel type significantly impacted the composition of the roadside air. The OFP values for the total NMHCs were much lower in the CNG (2.5 ppmv), LNG (4.7 ppmv) and diesel (4.5 ppmv) exhaust than in the gasoline (94.3 ppmv) and LPG (23.1 ppmv) exhaust, indicating that using CNG and LNG may effectively reduce O3 formation due to vehicle exhaust. Additionally, the hazard quotient (HQ), hazard index (HI) and cancer risk (Risk) of NMHC species in the vehicle exhaust were calculated. Both the HI and Risk of these species in the exhaust from gasoline-powered vehicles greatly exceeded those from the other four types of vehicles, suggesting that using clean alternative fuels instead of gasoline benefits human health.


VOCs LPG LNG CNG Ozone formation potential Health risk assessment

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