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Position:BCAA News»The First VOCs Online Monitoring Guidance Published in Beijing

The First VOCs Online Monitoring Guidance Published in BeijingPost date: 2017-11-29

Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC) published the very first VOCs Online Monitoring System Assessment Guidance (“The Guidance”) in Beijing on Tuesday,November 21, 2017. The Guidance was prepared jointly by Innovation Center for Clean-air Solutions, ShanghaiEnvironmental Monitoring Center (SEMC), and Shenzhen Research Academy of EnvironmentalScience (SZRAES).

Volatileorganic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressureat ordinary room temperature. Not only do they have adverse health effectstowards people, but also are key precursors and participants of the severeregional and complex air pollution of China. The 13th Five-Year Planhas included VOCs as obligatory targets for the first time, and the Ministry ofEnvironmental Protection has published a series of monitoring standards andcontrol strategies for VOCs. Now 17 provinces in the country are staring tocollect pollutant discharge fees, and key cities like Shanghai, Tianjin andShenzhen have clear requirements for VOCs online monitoring.

However,monitoring and management of VOCs faces great challenges, since they come froma large variety of sources, both natural and artificial. In most cities inChina, the majority of VOCs come from artificial sources, mainly stationarycombustion, transportation emission, solvent vaporization and industrialproduction. Furthermore, the VOCs are a mixture of compounds, composed of agreat number of components, including alkanes, halogenated hydrocarbons, andPAHs, whose chemical and physical properties distinct greatly. There are urgentneeds for effective assessment methods on VOCs online monitoring in China, andinternational experience is limited as well.

ThisGuidance is the first framework documents for VOCs online monitoring in China.Based on the successful experience of conducting VOCs monitoring in cities likeShanghai and Shenzhen, the Guidance establishes the fundamental methods forsystem assessment, supports the management of monitoring system, and promotesthe standardization of procedures and techniques in the field.

“TheGuidance regulates the current VOCs online monitoring market very well, andensures the reliability and effectiveness of the monitoring data” GAO Jian, aResearch Fellow at Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science, said atthe publication conference.

Shanghaiis the pioneer in developing VOCs online monitoring systems. “Based on thebuilding and implication of air quality superstations, as well as air pollutionmonitoring and control networks in industrial districts, Shanghai hassuccessfully established VOCs online monitoring techniques and systems,employing online instruments such as chromatographys, mass spectrometers, lightspectrometers and sensors, which greatly increase our capacity to monitor VOCs”said GAO Song, a senior engineer at SEMC. CUI Huxiong of SEMC also praised theGuidance “there are a large variety of online VOCs monitoring brands on themarket and this document provides clear guidance for the instrument selection.”

Previousresearch demonstrates the increasing impact of VOCs on the air pollution inShenzhen, especially for PM2.5 and ozone. In order to improve air quality andachieve the goal of minimizing PM2.5 concentration to 25 mg/m3in 2020, Shenzhen launched a pilot program, selecting 6 factories and 3 brandsof instrument for VOCs online monitoring system assessment, the outcomes of thepilot program will be beneficial and further spread towards all key industriesin Shenzhen. All factories that exceed 200 tons/year of VOCs emission shouldequipped with online monitoring systems by the end of 2019, according to the newlypublished Shenzhen Air Quality Improvement Plan (2017-2020).

“TheGuidance provides technical support and reference for the assessment of VOCsonline monitoring systems, model selection, station establishment and personneltraining”, LING Xuan, the senior project manager of Innovation Center forClean-air Solutions (ICCS), said “the Guidance includes professionalexplanation and emphasis on key points, as well as relating practical examples,which is very user-friendly, and beneficial for a quick start.”

NowadaysVOCs still remain as one of the focal targets in air pollution control all overthe world, and international experience indicates the great potential and rapidincrease of the air pollution control market in China. XIE Hongxing, the Directorof ICCS, is very confident “According to our assessment, VOCs monitoring, as anemerging field, has the potential to become a billion dollar market in the nearfuture.”