Thi-Hieu Le1, Chung-Shin Yuan2, Chitsan Lin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,3, Zhi-Ping Hsu3, I-Hsin Hsu3, Lin-Chi Wang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.3

1 Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung 811213, Taiwan
2 Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804201, Taiwan
3 Department of Marine Environmental Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung 811213, Taiwan


Received: March 7, 2024
Revised: May 23, 2024
Accepted: June 17, 2024

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.


Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.240069  


Cite this article:

Le, T.H., Yuan, C.S., Lin, C., Hsu, Z.P., Hsu, I.H., Wang, L.C. (2024). Comprehensive Analysis of VOCs in an Industrial Harbor City: Spatiotemporal Distribution, Health Risk, and Potential Sources. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 24, 240069. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.240069


HIGHLIGHTS

  • VOC concentrations dropped during peak pollution seasons from 2020 to 2022.
  • Local industrial and vehicle/ship emissions nearly equally impact harbor VOC levels.
  • Ozone formation potential strongly correlates with VOCs, notably influenced by aromatics.
  • 1,2-dichloroethane and 1,3-butadiene are considered potential carcinogens in harbor.
 

ABSTRACT


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) measurements during the worst air quality season of 2020−2022 were conducted at three distinct sites within Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan's largest harbor and a significant hub in Asia. Air VOCs samples were collected continuously in 24 h by canister and analyzed by GC/MS with pre-concentration systems according to U.S. EPA Method TO-15. The source apportionment was defined by diagnostic ratio analysis and positive matrix factorization (PMF) model while ozone formation potentials (OFP) were estimated by maximum incremental reactivity method. Health risk was estimated by unit risks and reference concentration for cancer and non-cancer risk, respectively. The results indicate a decrease in average total VOC (TVOC) concentrations (ppbv) over the study period: 37.9 ± 4.5 in 2020, 23.3 ± 9.9 in 2021, and 23.3 ± 2.6 in 2022. Dominant VOC components were C2-VOCs and aromatics, which made up more than 50% of TVOCs. According to diagnostic ratio analysis, local anthropogenic emissions, such as industrial and ship/vehicle emissions around harbor area, were main causes. Four sources were identified by positive matrix factorization (PMF), with industrial activities (33.7%), followed by vehicle and ship emissions (30.6%), solvent usages (21.1%), and fuel evaporations (14.6%). OFP results indicated that toluene was primary OFP contributor, accounting for an average of 30.4%, followed by C2-VOCs at 16.2% and m/p-xylenes at 12.5%, collectively contributing nearly 60% to OFP. These OFP contributors were significantly attributed to vehicle/ship emissions and solvent usages. Cumulative non-carcinogenic hazard indices were less than 1 indicates an acceptable non-carcinogenic health concern. Notably, only 1,2-dichloroethane exceeded the threshold of 1.0 × 10−6 for carcinogenic risk throughout the three-year observation period, while 1,3-butadiene indicated a high risk only in 2020. Industrial emissions could mainly contribute to carcinogenic risks in Kaohsiung Harbor and the surrounding area. The results are conducive to developing control strategies for VOC emissions to reduce human exposure risk to ambient air.


Keywords: Carcinogenic risks, Green port, Ozone formation, Pollution sources, Volatile organic compounds




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