Recent Published Articles

VOC emitted by biopharmaceutical industries: Source profiles, health risks, and secondary pollution

Lin Li , Jiawei Ma


Received July 05, 2022,Revised , Accepted October 16, 2022, Available online October 28, 2022

Volume 36,2024,Pages 570-584

The biopharmaceutical industry contributes substantially to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions, causing growing concerns and social developmental conflicts. This study conducted an on-site investigation of the process-based emission of VOCs from three biopharmaceutical enterprises. In the workshops of the three enterprises, 26 VOCs were detected, which could be sorted into 4 classes: hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, oxygen-containing compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds. Ketones were the main components of waste gases, accounting for 44.13%–77.85% of the overall VOCs. Process-based source profiles were compiled for each process unit, with the fermentation and extraction units of tiamulin fumarate being the main source of VOC emissions. Dimethyl heptanone, vinyl acetate, diethylamine, propylene glycol methyl ether (PGME), and benzene were screened as priority pollutants through a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation system. Ground level concentration simulation results of the Gauss plume diffusion model demonstrated that the diffusivity of VOCs in the atmosphere was relatively high, indicating potential non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks 1.5–2 km downwind. Furthermore, the process-based formation potentials of ozone and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) were determined and indicated that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, dimethyl heptanone, and PGME should be preferentially controlled to reduce the ozone formation potential, whereas the control of benzene and chlorobenzene should be prioritized to reduce the generation of SOAs. Our results provide a basis for understanding the characteristics of VOC emission by biopharmaceutical industries and their diffusion, potentially allowing the development of measures to reduce health risks and secondary pollution.

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