Concentration and source apportionment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the ambient air of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- 617 Downloads
The accumulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air affects air quality through the generation of surface level ozone and secondary organic aerosol. A study of the distribution and source apportionment of VOCs was conducted at two stations to investigate the air quality status of Kuala Lumpur. Samples of ambient air were collected into Tedlar sampling bags using an air sampling pump and then pre-concentrated with solid-phase micro-extraction fibre. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) was employed to measure the VOC species. An absolute principal component score–multiple linear regression (APCS–MLR) model was then applied to identify the possible source contributions of VOCs. Seventeen VOCs were detected, and methylene chloride (243 ± 241 ppbv) was the most abundant species at both stations. Within the benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene group of VOCs, toluene was dominant with an average of 135 ± 202 ppbv, followed by p-xylene (41.3 ± 24.7 ppbv), ethyl benzene (34.0 ± 32.6 ppbv) and benzene (18.2 ± 12.9 ppbv). A strong correlation between benzene and toluene (p < 0.01, r = 0.65) indicated the influence of motor vehicle emissions during the sampling period. The APCS–MLR results indicated that the source contributors for VOCs at the sampling stations were gasoline evaporation (31 %), motor vehicle exhaust/solvent (22 %), motor vehicle emissions (21 %), petrol pump/solvent usage (15 %) and industrial emissions (10 %).
KeywordsVOCs BTEX Source apportionment Congested areas Residential–urban environment
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Education for Research Grant FRGS/1/2013/STWN01/UKM/02/2. Many thanks to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for Research University grants DIP-2014-005 and AP-2015-010. Special thanks to Dr Rose Norman for assistance with the proofreading of this manuscript.
- Barletta B, Meinardi S, Simpson IJ, Zou S, Rowland FS, Blake DR (2008) Ambient mixing ratios of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) in two major urban centers of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region: Guangzhou and Dongguan. Atmos Environ 42:4393–4408. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.01.028 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Blanchard CL, Tanenbaum S, Lawson DR (2008) Differences between weekday and weekend air pollutant levels in Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Denver; Houston; New York; Phoenix; Washington, DC; and Surrounding Areas. J Air Waste Manag As 58:1598–1615. doi: 10.3155/1047-32220.127.116.118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Draxler RR, Rolph GD (2014) HYSPLIT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory), NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, College Park. http://www.arl.noaa.gov/HYSPLIT.php.
- Loreto F, Fares S (2013) Biogenic volatile organic compounds and their impacts on biosphere–atmosphere interactions. Climate Change, air pollution and global challenges: knowledge, understanding and perspectives from forest research, Elsevier Physical Sciences Series “Developments in Environmental Science” vol 13, pp 57–68Google Scholar
- Murphy BL, Morrison RD (2007) Introduction to environmental forensics. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Pandey K, Sahu L (2014) Emissions of volatile organic compounds from biomass burning sources and their ozone formation potential over India. Curr Sci 106:1270Google Scholar
- Sahu L (2012) Volatile organic compounds and their measurements in the troposphere. Curr Sci 102:1645–1649Google Scholar