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Temporal and spatial distribution characteristics and source origins of volatile organic compounds in a megacity of Sichuan Basin, China

Tan, Qinwen, Liu, Hefan, Xie, Shaodong, Zhou, Li, Song, Tianli, Shi, Guangming, Jiang, Wenju, Yang, Fumo, Wei, Fusheng
Environmental research 2020 v.185 pp. 109478
aerosols, basins, cities, emissions, environmental health, gas chromatography, gases, health effects assessments, inventories, mixing, mixing ratio, observational studies, ozone, pollution, pollution control, solar radiation, solvents, summer, temperature, vehicles (equipment), volatile organic compounds, China
As important pollution gases and represented precursors of both ozone and second organic aerosol (SOA), the component characteristics, source origins, environmental health and emission control of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are gaining more and more attention in Chinese megacities. In order to understand the concentration, composition and temporal and spatial distribution characteristics of VOCs in the atmosphere of Chengdu, a megacity located in Sichuan basin in southwest China, the offline sampling measurements of VOCs were carried out at 28 different field sites covering all the districts and counties of Chengdu during special periods from May 2016 to January 2017. Speciated VOCs measurement was performed by the GC-FID/MS, and 99 species were identified. The averaged total VOC mixing ratios of each sampling site were in the range from 35.03 to 180.57 ppbv. Based on these observational data, the distribution characteristics of VOCs in different months and different regions of Chengdu were clarified. The VOCs data were used to estimate the potential amount of ozone, secondary aerosol formation and health risk assessment in Chengdu. Furthermore, the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was used to identify the dominant emission sources and evaluate their contribution to VOCs in the city. The two main sources of VOCs in Chengdu were motor vehicle exhaust and solvent utilization. These accounted for 43% of all emission sources. In the summertime, due to higher temperatures and stronger sunlight, the contribution of natural sources and secondary emissions were also relatively high, which were supported by the regional emission inventories. Finally, the controlling direction of VOCs and O₃ pollution in Chengdu was discussed, and the VOCs pollution control strategy was proposed for the near future.