Source apportionment of VOCs in a typical medium-sized city in North China Plain and implications on control policy

Xinming Wang , Juanjuan Qin , Xiaobo Wang , Yanrong Yang , Yuanyuan Qin , Shaoxuan Shi , Peihua Xu , Rongzhi Chen , Xueming Zhou , Jihua Tan


Received August 02, 2020,Revised , Accepted October 08, 2020, Available online February 06, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 26-37

Characteristics of atmospheric VOCs (volatile organic compounds) have been extensively studied in megacities in China, however, they are scarcely investigated in medium/small-sized cities in North China Plain (NCP). A comprehensive research on possible sources of VOCs was conducted in a medium-sized city of NCP, from May to September 2019. A total of 143 canister samples of 8 sites in Xuchang city were collected, and 57 VOC species were detected. The average VOC concentrations were 42.6 ± 31.6 μg/m3, with 53.7 ± 31.0 μg/m3 and 32.1 ± 27. 8 μg/m3, in the morning and afternoon, respectively. Alkenes and aromatics contributed 80% of the total ozone formation potential (OFP). Aromatics accounted for more than 95% of secondary organic aerosol potential (SOAP). VOCs were dominated by the local emission with significant transport from the southeast direction. PMF analysis extracted 6 sources, which were combustion (33.1%), LPG usage (19.3%), vehicular exhaust & fuel evaporation (15.8%), solvent usage (15.2%), industrial (9.11%) and biogenic (7.51%), respectively and they contributed 33.4%, 17.6%, 12.9%, 18.6%, 9.28% and 8.22% to the OFP, respectively. Combustion and LPG usage were the dominant VOC sources; and combustion, solvent usage and LPG usage were the main sources of OFP in Xuchang city, which were different to megacities in China with a high contribution from vehicular exhaust, solvent usage and industry, suggesting specific control strategies on VOCs need to be implemented in medium-sized city such as Xuchang city.

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