Seasonal and diurnal variations of carbonyl compounds in the urban atmosphere of Guangzhou, China.

Research paper by Huixiong H Lü, Quan-Ying QY Cai, Sheng S Wen, Yuguang Y Chi, Songjun S Guo, Guoying G Sheng, Jiamo J Fu

Indexed on: 02 Jul '10Published on: 02 Jul '10Published in: Science of the Total Environment


Seasonal and diurnal variations of carbonyl compounds were investigated at two sampling sites (Liwan and Wushan) in the ambient air of Guangzhou, China. Air samples were collected during 2005 from January to November, and carbonyl compounds were analyzed with HPLC. The results show that carbonyls exhibit distinct seasonal variation. The total concentrations of 21 carbonyls detected ranged from 2.64 to 103.6 microg m(-3) at Liwan and from 5.46 to 89.9 microg m(-3) at Wushan, respectively. The average total concentrations of carbonyls at both Liwan and Wushan decreased in order of summer>spring>autumn>winter. Formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acetone were the most abundant carbonyl compounds, which accounted for more than 60% of the total concentrations of carbonyls. The mean concentration ratios of summer/winter were all > 1.0 for the total concentrations and the individual carbonyl compound. The diurnal variation of carbonyls was not distinct in this study. The average concentration ratios of formaldehyde/acetaldehyde (C1/C2) varied from 0.71 to 1.32 and 0.65 to 1.14 at Liwan and Wushan, respectively, and the average concentration ratios of acetaldehyde/propionaldehyde (C2/C3) varied from 5.42 to 7.70 and 5.02 to 13.9 in Liwan and Wushan, respectively. Regarding photochemical reactivity of carbonyls and the ozone production, acetaldehyde, butyraldehyde, formaldehyde, and valeraldehyde account for 75-90% to the total propene-equivalent concentrations, while formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, valeraldehyde, butyraldehyde, and propionaldehyde contribute 89-96% to the total ozone formation potentials (ranging from 105 to 274 microg m(-3)). The ozone formation potentials in summer were higher by 1-2 times than those in the other seasons.