Source apportionment of formaldehyde during TexAQS 2006 using a source-oriented chemical transport model Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, a source-oriented version of the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was developed and used to quantify the contributions of five major local emission source types in Southeast Texas (vehicles, industry, natural gas combustion, wildfires, biogenic sources), as well as upwind sources, to regional primary and secondary formaldehyde (HCHO) concentrations. Predicted HCHO concentrations agree well with observations at two urban sites (the Moody Tower [MT] site at the University of Houston and the Haden Road #3 [HRM-3] site operated by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality). However, the model underestimates concentrations at an industrial site (Lynchburg Ferry). Throughout most of Southeast Texas, primary HCHO accounts for approximately 20-30% of total HCHO, while the remaining portion is due to secondary HCHO (30-50%) and upwind sources (20-50%). Biogenic sources, natural gas combustion, and vehicles are important sources of primary HCHO in the urban Houston area, respectively, accounting for 10-20%, 10-30%, and 20-60% of total primary HCHO. Biogenic sources, industry, and vehicles are the top three sources of secondary HCHO, respectively, accounting for 30-50%, 10-30%, and 5-15% of overall secondary HCHO. It was also found that over 70% of PAN in the Houston area is due to upwind sources, and only 30% is formed locally. The model-predicted source contributions to HCHO at the MT generally agree with source apportionment results obtained from the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) technique. 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, H., Li, J., Ying, Q. i., Guven, B. B., & Olaguer, E. P.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Hongliang||Li, Jingyi||Ying, Qi||Guven, Birnur Buzcu||Olaguer, Eduardo P

publication date

  • February 2013