Chia-Hsiang Lai 1, Kuen-Yuan Chuang1, Jin-Wei Chang2

  • 1 Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung 406, Taiwan
  • 2 Institute of Safety and Disaster Prevention Technology, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung 406, Taiwan

Received: May 8, 2012
Revised: August 13, 2012
Accepted: August 13, 2012
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Cite this article:
Lai, C.H., Chuang, K.Y. and Chang, J.W. (2013). Source Apportionment of Volatile Organic Compounds at an International Airport. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 13: 689-698.



Concentrations of 22 volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs) were measured at the airport apron of Taipei International Airport, Taiwan, for 48 d in July, September, October, and December of 2011. Forty-eight air samples were collected using stainless steel canisters and analyzed using gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector (GC/FID) and gas chromatography with a mass selective detector (GC/MSD). The five most abundant VOC species on all sampling days were toluene, m,p-xylene, o-xylene, i-pentane, and styrene. Total concentrations of VOCs (TVOC) were 85.38 ± 26.61, 89.70 ± 13.14, and 86.21 ± 14.51 μg/m3 in summer, autumn, and early winter, respectively. Aromatics (36.6–41.4%) represented the largest proportion of TVOCs, followed by i-alkanes (22.9–25.5%), n-alkanes (20.3–21.8%), alkenes (11.5–13.3%) and alkynes (3.0–4.4%). The benzene-to-toluene (B/T) ratio was used to differentiate between exhaust from aircraft ignition and that from ground vehicles at the airport apron. The absolute principal component score (APCS) receptor model was then applied to quantify the contributions of these sources of VOCs at the airport apron.

Keywords: Receptor model; Volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs); Airport; Absolute principal component score (APCS)

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