Source impacts by volatile organic compounds in an industrial city of southern Taiwan

Pao Wen Grace Liu, Yung Chen Yao, Jiun Horng Tsai, Yi Chyun Hsu, Li Peng Chang, Ken Hui Chang

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76 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates source impacts by airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC) at two sites designated for traffic and industry, in the largest industrial area Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan. The samples were collected at the two sites simultaneously during rush and non-rush hours in summer and autumn seasons. Same pattern of VOC groups were found at both sites: most abundant aromatics (78-95%) followed by alkanes (2-16%) and alkenes (0-6%). The BTEX concentration measured at the two sites ranged from 69 to 301 ppbC. Toluene, isopentane, ethylbenzene, and benzene were found to be the most abundant species. Speciation of VOCs was characterized with several skills including principal component factor analysis and BTEX characteristic ratios. Each of the resulted principal factors at the two sites explained over 80% of the VOCs data variance, and indicated that both of the sampling sites were influenced by both traffic and industrial sources with separately different levels. The remarkable patterns of the first two factors described not only the similarity but also the discrepancy at the two sampling sites, in terms of the source impacts. The high T/B ratios (7.56-14.25) observed at the industrial site implied the important impact from mobile emissions. The indicators, m,p-xylene/benzene and o-xylene/benzene, also confirmed the potential source of motor vehicles at both of the sampling sites. Air age assessment showed that more than half of the total observations located in the domain of fresh air. Low X/E ratios implied somewhat aged air mass transported to the sampling sites. The industrial site might not only encounter emissions from the industry sources, but also under unavoidable impact from the traffic sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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