Analysis of atmospheric concentrations of quinones and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in vapour and particulate phases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • King's College London
  • Department of Chemical Engineering


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are often measured in studies of atmospheric chemistry or health effects of air pollution, due to their known human carcinogenicity. In recent years, PAH quinone derivatives have also become a focus of interest, primarily because they can contribute to oxidative stress. This work reports concentrations of 17 PAH and 15 quinones measured in air samples collected at a trafficked roadside. Data are presented for four compounds not previously reported in ambient air: 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-1,4-benzoquinone, methyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2,3-dimethylanthraquinone, and a large vapour phase component is measured, not analysed in most earlier studies. Analyses are reported also for SRM 1649a and 1649b, including many compounds (8 for SRM 1649a and 12 for SRM 1649b) for which concentrations have not previously been reported. This work assesses the vapour/particle phase distribution of PAHs and quinones in relation to their molecular weight, vapour pressure, polarity and Henry's Law constant, finding that both molecular weight and vapour pressure (which are correlated) are good predictors of the partitioning.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-982
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Early online date14 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Quinones, Oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, OPAH, Partitioning, Standard reference material