Volatile organic compounds in Tijuana during the Cal-Mex 2010 campaign: Measurements and source apportionment Academic Article uri icon


  • As part of the Cal-Mex 2010 air quality study, a proton transfer reactionemass spectrometer (PTR-MS) was deployed at the San Diegoe Tijuana border area to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from 15 May to 30 June 2010. The major VOCs identified during the study included oxygenated VOCs (e.g., methanol, acetaldehyde, acetone, and methyl ethyl ketone) and aromatics (e.g., benzene, toluene, C8- and C9-aromatics). Biogenic VOCs (e.g., isoprene) were scarce in this region because of the lack of vegetation in this arid area. Using an U.S. EPA positive matrix factorization model, VOCs together with other trace gases (NOx, NOz and SO2) observed in this border region were attributed to four types of sources, i.e., local industrial solvent usage (58% in ppbC), gasoline vehicle exhaust (19% in ppbC), diesel vehicle exhaust (14% in ppbC), and aged plume (9% in ppbC) due to regional background and/or long-range transport. Diesel vehicle emission contributed to 87% of SO2 and 75% of NOx, and aged plume contributed to 92% of NOz. An independent conditional probability function analysis of VOCs, wind direction, and wind speed indicated that the industrial source did not show a significant tendency with wind direction. Both gasoline and diesel engine emissions were associated with air masses passing through two busy crossborder ports. Aged plumes were strongly associated with NW wind, which likely brought in aged air masses from the populated San Diego area. 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zheng, J., Garzon, J. P., Huertas, M. E., Zhang, R., Levy, M., Ma, Y., ... Molina, L. T.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Zheng, Jun||Garzón, Jessica P||Huertas, María E||Zhang, Renyi||Levy, Misti||Ma, Yan||Huertas, José I||Jardón, Ricardo T||Ruíz, Luis G||Tan, Haobo||Molina, Luisa T

publication date

  • May 2013