Monitoring of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds in two major traffic tunnels in Seoul, Korea

Ki Hyun Kim, Ashish Anthwal, Chan Goo Park, Suk Joo Jo, Young Zoo Chae, Jin A. Park, Jong Heub Jung, Jong Ryeul Sohn, Jong Min Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


To describe the fundamental aspects of air quality in tunnel environments, field campaigns were conducted to measure polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and some criteria pollutants from two tunnel sites of Nam San (NS) and Hong Ji (HJ) gates in Seoul, Korea. The total PAH values (ngm3) for the NS tunnel (137.810.9) were notably higher than the HJ counterpart (91.37.82), while the total VOC exhibited a reversed pattern with a notable enhancement in the HJ tunnel (178.5174.7ppbC) relative to the NS tunnel (112.564.1ppbC). A line of evidence, including the molecular diagnostic ratios of PAHs, indicates the relative dominance of diesel vehicles in the NS tunnel compared to the HJ site. The PAHs with high ring numbers (n>6, such as benzo(g, h, i)perylene and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene) were preferentially enriched in the particle phase, whereas their low ring number counterparts (n=2-3) were in the gas phase. The results of our study suggest the possibility that the relative source processes for each tunnel site are characterized by the relative dominance of either diesel (NS) or gasoline-powered vehicles (HJ).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1963-1976
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea grant funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) (No. 2010-0007876).


  • air quality
  • atmospheric pollutants
  • diesel
  • gasoline
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
  • tunnel
  • volatile organic compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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