Yu Wang1,2, Guang Yang1,2, Litao Wang 1,2, Le Zhao1,2, Shangping Ji1,2, Mengyao Qi1,2, XiaoHan Lu1,2, Zhentong Liu1,2, Jingyao Tan1,2, Yingying Liu1,2, Qing Wang1,2, Ruiguang Xu1,2,3 

College of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Hebei University of Engineering, Handan, Hebei 056038, Chin
Hebei Key Laboratory of Air Pollution Cause and Impact (preparatory), Handan, Hebei 056038, China
Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.11.0608 

Cite this article:

Wang, Y., Yang, G., Wang, L., Zhao, L., Ji, S., Qi, M., Lu, X., Liu, Z., Tan, J., Liu, Y., Wang, Q. and Xu, R. (2020). Characteristics and Source Apportionment of VOC in a Complex Polluted City in China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.11.0608


  • Measurement of 56 VOCs were first investigated for a whole year in Handan, China.
  • The dominant VOCs groups were alkanes, alkenes, aromatics and alkyne.
  • Chemical reactivity of precursors and O3 formation mechanism were analyzed.
  • Source apportionment of VOCs was pursued using PCA.


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important precursors in the formation of ozone (O3) and secondary organic aerosols. This study observed 56 VOCs species using an on-line monitor during Sep. 2017 to Aug. 2018 in a top polluted city in China, Handan, as well as O3 and NOx to analyze the pollution characteristics, chemical reactivity of VOCs in different O3 pollution levels, regional O3 formation mechanism and source apportionment of VOCs. Our results showed that the daily concentration of VOCs had a wide range from 37.7 μg·m-3 to 288.9 μg·m-3, with the average of 112.0±45.5 μg·m-3 during the observation period. The alkenes and other aromatics contributed more O3 formation potential (OFP) of VOCs in medium polluted days in comparison with in clean days. O3 formation in Handan mainly occurred under the VOC-sensitive regime in spring and winter, while in summer and autumn, and daytime high O3 episodes were NOx-sensitive. According to the ratio of i-butane/n-butane and i-propane/n-propane, the main sources of butane and propane were vehicular exhaust and liquid gasoline source in the observation period. The source apportionment of VOCs using PCA (principal components analysis) model were pursued for the four seasons, and the result show that vehicle emission, industrial production, solvent use, gasoline evaporation and combustion are important emission sources in Handan.

Keywords: Volatile organic compounds; Chemical reactivity; Ozone formation; Source 34 apportionment; Handan city

Impact Factor: 2.735

5-Year Impact Factor: 2.827

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