JEP  Vol.5 No.4 , March 2014
Seasonal and Temporal Variations in Volatile Organic Compounds in Indoor and Outdoor Air in Al-Jahra City, Kuwait

Indoor and outdoor air samples were simultaneously collected from the largest office building in Jahra City during 57 sampling events between August 2010 and November 2011. The collected samples were analyzed for 78 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using CO2 cryogenic preconcentration and GC/MS analysis. Of the 48 VOCs detected, the toluene concentration exceeded the recommended air quality guidelines in 2% of the outdoor samples, and the benzene concentration exceeded these guidelines in 17.5% and 19.5% of the indoor and outdoor samples, respectively. Industrial and vehicle emissions were negligible. Emissions from oil fields, various crude oil production and flaring activities in the north were major sources of VOCs in the ambient air. The VOC profiles; seasonal, monthly, and weekday/weekend variations; and their effects on ozone formation potentials are discussed. The results indicate that the most abundant class of chemical compounds was oxygenated compounds, of which acetone, acetaldehyde, propanal, methanol, ethanol, and 2-propanol were the most dominant species. Propene and toluene were the most abundant species of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, respectively.

Cite this paper: Al-Khulaifi, N. , Al-Mudhaf, H. , Alenezi, R. , Abu-Shady, A. and Selim, M. (2014) Seasonal and Temporal Variations in Volatile Organic Compounds in Indoor and Outdoor Air in Al-Jahra City, Kuwait. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 310-326. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.54034.

[1]   Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), Kuwait (2012)

[2]   Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) (2012) World Oil Outlook.

[3]   AL-Hamad, K. and Khan, A.R. (2008) Total Emissions from Flaring in Kuwait Oilfields. American Journal of Environmental Science, 4, 31-38.

[4]   Ongwandee, M., Moonrinta, R., Panyametheekul, S., Tangbanluekal, C. and Morrison, G. (2011) Investigation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Office Buildings in Bangkok, Thailand: Concentrations, Sources, and Occupant Symptoms. Building and Environment, 46, 1512-1522.

[5]   Zuraimi, M.S., Roulet, C.A., Tham, K.W., Sekhar, S.C., David Cheong, K.W., Wong, N.H. and Lee, K.H. (2006) A Comparative Study of VOCs in Singapore and European Office Buildings. Building and Environment, 4, 316-329.

[6]   Al-Salem, S.M. and Khan, A.R. (2010) Review: Monitoring and Modelling the Trends of Primary and Secondary Air Pollution Precursor rs: The Case of the State of Kuwait. International Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2010, 1-11.

[7]   Al-Salem, S.M., Bouhamrah, W.S. (2006) Ambient Concentrations of Benzene and Other VOCs at Typical Industrial Sites in Kuwait and Their Cancer Risk Assessment. Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, 10(4), 42-46.

[8]   Al-Dabbous, A.N., Khan, A.R., Al-Rashidi, M.S. and Awadi, L. (2013) Carbon Dioxide and Volatile Organic Compounds Levels in Mosque in Hot Arid Climate. Indoor and Built Environment, 22, 456-464.

[9]   Alhumoud, J.M., Al-Ruwaih, F.M., Ali, S.H. and Redhaee, M.H. (2012) Traffic Contribution of Volatile Organic Compounds to the Air-Shed of Kuwait. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 23, 204-221.

[10]   Alenezi, R. and Ashfaque, A. (2011) Assessment of Ambient Air Quality in Al Jahra Governorate, for 2008. International Journal of Energy and Environment, 5, 582-591.

[11]   Alenezi, R., Al-Anzi, B., Abusam, A. and Ashfaque, A. (2012) Seasonal Influence on the Ambient Air Quality in Al Jahra City for Year 2010. Journal of Environmental Protection, 3, 1711-1718.

[12]   Al-Mudhaf, H.F., Abu-Shady, A.I., Al-Khulaifi, N.M. and Selim, M.I. (2013) Indoor and Outdoor Volatile Organic Compounds at Office Buildings in Kuwait. Air Soil and Water Research, 6, 53-72.

[13]   US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) (1994) Standardized EPA Protocol for Characterizing Indoor Air Quality in Large Office Buildings. Washington DC.

[14]   US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) (1999) Compendium Method TO-15: Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Ambient Air Using Specially Prepared Canisters with Subsequent Analysis by Gas Chromatography. In: Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Toxic Organic Compounds in Ambient Air, 2nd Edition, Washington DC.

[15]   European Council (EC) (2000) Directive 2000/69/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2000 Relating to Limit Values for Benzene and Carbon Monoxide in Ambient Air. Official Journal of the European Communities, 13 December 2000.

[16]   World Health Organization (WHO) (2000) Air Quality Guidelines for Europe. European Series. 2nd Edition, WHO Regional Publications, Copenhagen.

[17]   Tong, L., Liao, X., Chen, J., Xiao, H., Xu, L., Zhang, F., Niu, Z. and Yu, J. (2013) Pollution Characteristics of Ambient Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the Southeast Coastal Cities of China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20, 2603-2615.

[18]   Jia, C., Batterman, S. and Godwin, C. (2008) VOCs in Industrial, Urban and Suburban Neighborhoods, Part 2: Factors Affecting Indoor and Outdoor Concentrations. Atmospheric Environment, 42, 2101-2116.

[19]   Destaillats, H., Maddalena, R.L., Singer, B.C., Hodgson, A.T. and McKone, T.E. (2008) Indoor Pollutants Emitted by Office Equipment: A Review of Reported Data and Information Needs. Atmospheric Environment, 42, 1371-1388.

[20]   Jia, C., Batterman, S. and Godwin, C. (2007) VOCs in Industrial, Urban and Suburban Neighborhoods, Part 1: Indoor and Outdoor Concentrations, Variation, and Risk Drivers. Atmospheric Environment, 42, 2083-2100.

[21]   Choi, E., Choi, K. and Seung-Muk, Y. (2011) Non-Methane Hydrocarbons in the Atmosphere of a Metropolitan City and a Background Site in South Korea: Sources and Health Risk Potentials. Atmospheric Environment, 45, 7563-7573.

[22]   Barletta, B., Meinardi, S., Simpson, I.J., Khwaja, H.A., Blake, D.R. and Rowland, F.S. (2002) Mixing Ratios of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the Atmosphere of Karachi, Pakistan. Atmospheric Environment, 36, 3429-3443.

[23]   Saito, S., Nagao, I. and Kanzawa, H. (2009) Characteristics of Ambient C2-C11 Non-Methane Hydrocarbons in Metropolitan Nagoya, Japan. Atmospheric Environment, 43, 4384-4395.

[24]   Guo, H., So, K.L., Simpson, I.J., Barletta, B., Meinardi, S. and Blake, D.R. (2007) C1-C8 Volatile Organic Compounds in the Atmosphere of Hong Kong: Overview of Atmospheric Processing and Source Apportionment. Atmospheric Environment, 41, 1456-1472.

[25]   Hoque, R.R., Khillare, P.S., Agarwal, T., Shridhar, V. and Balachandran, S. (2008) Spatial and Temporal Variation of BTEX in the Urban Atmosphere of Delhi, India. Science of the Total Environment, 392, 30-40.

[26]   Yurdakul, S., Civan, M. and Tuncel, G. (2013) Volatile Organic Compounds in Suburban Ankara Atmosphere, Turkey: Sources and Variability. Atmospheric Research, 120-121, 298-311.

[27]   Lee, S.C., Chiu, M.Y., Ho, K.F., Zou, S.C. and Wang, X. (2002) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Urban Atmosphere of Hong Kong. Chemosphere, 48, 375-382.

[28]   Buczynska, A.J., Krata, A., Stranger, M., Godoi, A.F.L., Kontozova-Deutsch, V., Bencs, L., Naveau, I., Roekens, E. and Grieken, R.V. (2009) Atmospheric BTEX Concentrations in an Area with Intensive Street Traffic. Atmospheric Environment, 43, 311-318.

[29]   Elbir, T., Cetin, B., Cetin, E., Bayram, A. and Odabasi, M. (2007) Characterization of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Their Sources in the Air of Izmir, Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 133, 149-160.

[30]   Monod, A., Sive, B.C., Avino, P., Chen, T., Blake, D.R. and Rowland, F.S. (2001) Monoaromatic Compounds in Ambient Air of Various Cities: A Focus on Correlations between the Xylenes and Ethylbenzene. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 135-149.

[31]   Miller, L., Xu, X., Wheeler, A.J., Atari, D.O., Grgicak-Mannion, A. and Luginaah, I. (2011) Spatial Variability and Application of Ratios between BTEX in Two Canadian Cities. The Scientific World Journal, 11, 2536-2549.

[32]   Moschonas, N. and Glavas, S. (1996) C3-C10 Hydrocarbons in the Atmosphere of Athens, Greece. Atmospheric Environment, 30, 2769-2772.

[33]   Harley, R.A., Hannigan, M.P. and Cass, G.R. (1992) Respeciation of Organic Gas Emissions and the Detection of Excess Unburned Gasoline in the Atmosphere. Environmental Science and Technology, 26, 2395-2408.

[34]   Yuval, A.Z. and Broday, D.M. (2008) Revealing Source Signatures in Ambient BTEX Concentrations. Environmental Pollution, 156, 553-562.

[35]   Duan, J., Tan, J., Yang, L., Wu, S. and Hao, J. (2008) Concentration, Sources and Ozone Formation Potential of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) during Ozone Episode in Beijing. Atmospheric Research, 88, 25-35.

[36]   Sosa, E.R., Bravo, A.H., Mugica, A.V., Sanchez, A.P., Bueno, L.E. and Krupa, S. (2009) Levels and Source Apportionment of Volatile Organic Compounds in Southwestern Area of Mexico City. Environmental Pollution, 157, 1038-1044.

[37]   Sarkhosh, M., Mahvi, A.H., Yunesian, M., Nabizadeh, R., Borji, S.H. and Bajgirani, A.G. (2013) Source Apportionment of Volatile Organic Compounds in Tehran, Iran. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 90, 440-445.

[38]   Leuchner, M. and Rappenglück, B. (2010) VOC Source-Receptor Relationships in Houston during TexAQS-II. Atmospheric Environment, 44, 4056-4067.

[39]   Tassi, F., Capecchiacci, F., Giannini, L., Vougioukalakis, G.E. and Vaselli, O. (2013) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Air from Nisyros Island (Dodecanese Archipelago, Greece): Natural versus Anthropogenic Sources. Environmental Pollution, 180, 111-121.

[40]   Civan, M.Y., Kuntasal, O.O. and Tuncel, G. (2011) Source Apportionment of Ambient Volatile Organic Compounds in Bursa, a Heavily Industrialized City in Turkey. Environmental Forensics, 12, 357-370.

[41]   Zhang, J., Sun, Y., Wu, F., Sun, J. and Wang, Y. (2013) The Characteristics, Seasonal Variation and Source Apportionment of VOCs at Gongga Mountain, China. Atmospheric Environment, in Press.

[42]   Ho, K.F., Lee, S.C., Guo, H. and Tsai, W.Y. (2004) Seasonal and Diurnal Variations of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the Atmosphere of Hong Kong. Science of the Total Environment, 322, 155-166.

[43]   Parra, M.A., González, L., Elustondo, D., Garrigó, J., Bermejo, R. and Santamaría, J.M. (2006) Spatial and Temporal Trends of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in a Rural Area of Northern Spain. Science of the Total Environment, 370, 157-167.

[44]   Moussa, S.G., El-Fadel, M. and Saliba, N.A. (2006) Seasonal, Diurnal and Nocturnal Behaviors of Lower Carbonyl Compounds in the Urban Environment of Beirut, Lebanon. Atmospheric Environment, 40, 2459-2468.

[45]   Pang, X. and Mu, Y. (2006) Seasonal and Diurnal Variations of Carbonyl Compounds in Beijing Ambient Air. Atmospheric Environment, 40, 6313-6320.

[46]   Cai, C., Geng, F., Tie, X., Yu, Q. and An, J. (2010) Characteristics and Source Apportionment of VOCs Measured in Shanghai, China. Atmospheric Environment, 44, 5005-5014.

[47]   Parra, M.A., Elustondo, D., Bermejo, R. and Santamaria, J.M. (2009) Ambient Air Levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in a Medium Size City in Northern Spain. Science of the Total Environment, 407, 999-1009.

[48]   Vardoulakis, S., Solazzo, E. and Lumbreras, J. (2011) Intra-Urban and Street Scale Variability of BTEX, NO2 and O3 in Birmingham, UK: Implications for Exposure Assessment. Atmospheric Environment, 45, 5069-5078.

[49]   Suthawaree, J., Tajima, Y., Khunchornyakong, A., Kato, S., Sharp, A. and Kajii, Y. (2012) Identification of Volatile Organic Compounds in Suburban Bangkok, Thailand and Their Potential for Ozone Formation. Atmospheric Research, 104-105, 245-254.

[50]   Shan, W., Yin, Y., Zhang, J. and Ding, Y. (2008) Observational Study of Surface Ozone at an Urban Site in East China. Atmospheric Research, 89, 252-261.

[51]   Yuan, B., Shao, M., Lu, S. and Wang, B. (2010) Source Profiles of Volatile Organic Compounds Associated with Solvent Use in Beijing, China. Atmospheric Environment, 44, 1919-1926.

[52]   Gouw, J. and Warneke, C. (2007) Measurements of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Earth’s Atmosphere Using Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry. Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 26, 223-257.

[53]   Filella, I. and Penuelas, J. (2006) Daily, Weekly, and Seasonal Time Courses of VOC Concentrations in a Semi-Urban Area near Barcelona. Atmospheric Environment, 40, 7752-7769.

[54]   Carter, W.P.L. (2010) Development of the SAPRC-07 Chemical Mechanism. Atmospheric Environment, 44, 5324-5335.

[55]   Tiwari, V., Hanai, Y. and Masunaga, S. (2010) Ambient Levels of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Vicinity of Petrochemical Industrial Area of Yokohama, Japan. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, 3, 65-75.