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Real-Time Characterization of Particle-Bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons at a Heavily Trafficked Roadside Site

Category: Articles

Volume: 12 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 1181-1188
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.11.0223

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Yan Cheng1,2,3, Kin Fai Ho4, Wen Jing Wu1, Steven Sai Hang Ho2,5, Shun Cheng Lee 3, Yu Huang3, Yun Wei Zhang1, Pui Shan Yau3, Yuan Gao3, Chi Sing Chan4

  • 1 Department of Environmental Science and Technology, School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, No.28 Xianning West Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710049, China
  • 2 SKLLQG, Institute of Earth and Environment, CAS, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710075, China
  • 3 Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Research Center for Environmental Technology and Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • 4 School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China
  • 5 Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA


A continuous photo-electric aerosol sensor (PAS) was used to characterize the particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PAHs) content at a heavily trafficked roadside site in Hong Kong. The measurements at the roadside station were performed for nine months from January to September 2005. For the total quantified p-PAHs, the PAS output shows good correlations to the data obtained with the offline quartz-fiber aerosol filter collection method. The average concentration of corrected p-PAHs was 5.3 ± 3.7 ng/m3, ranging from 0.2 to 22.0 ng/m3. The p-PAHs concentrations increased in the daytime in accordance with the heavy amount of road traffic, and decreased in the nighttime due to less traffic. Hourly p-PAHs concentrations had high correlation coefficients with all goods vehicles (> 0.9) and large buses (~0.8), showing that diesel vehicle emissions are the primary source of p-PAHs. The day-to-day variation of p-PAHs is significant, because it was influenced by various factors (e.g., traffic levels, mixing height, and potential pollution sources).


Polycyclic aromatic compound PAS Black carbon Roadside measurement

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