Chemical composition of major VOC emission sources in the Seoul atmosphere

Kwangsam Na, Yong Pyo Kim, Il Moon, Kil Choo Moon

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This paper describes a chemical analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for five emission sources in Seoul. The source categories included motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline evaporation, paint solvents, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). These sources were selected because they have been known to emit significant quantities of VOCs in the Seoul area (more than 5% of the total emission inventory). Chemical compositions of the five emission sources are presented for a group of 45 C2-C9 VOCs. Motor vehicle exhaust profiles were developed by conducting an urban tunnel study. These emissions profiles were distinguished from the other emission profiles by a high weight percentage of butanes over seasons and propane in the wintertime. It was found that this is due to the wide use of butane-fueled vehicles. To obtain gasoline vapor profiles, gasoline samples from five major brands for each season were selected. The brands were blended on the basis of the marketshare of these brands in Seoul area. Raoult's law was used to calculate gasoline evaporative compositions based on the liquid gasoline compositions. The measured and estimated gasoline vapor compositions were found to be in good agreement. Vehicle and gasoline evaporation profiles were made over seasons because of the seasonal change in their compositions. Paint solvent emissions profiles were produced based on a product-use survey and sales figures. These profiles are a composite of four major oil-based paints and thinning solvent. The source profile of natural gas was made on a methane-free basis. It was found that Ethane and propane were the most abundant compounds accounting for 95% of the natural gas composition. LPG was largely composed of propane and ethane and the remaining components were minor contributors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Research Laboratory Program of Korean Ministry of Science and Technology (2000-N-NL-01-C-184). The authors wish to thank to KH Jung in Korea Petroleum Quality Inspection Institute for the gasoline and diesel analysis.


  • Gasoline evaporation
  • Liquefied petroleum gas
  • Motor vehicle exhaust
  • Natural gas
  • Paint solvents
  • Volatile organic compounds


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