Atmospheric Formaldehyde Monitoring in the Greater Houston Area in 2002

Jinhai Chen, Stephen So, Hoason Lee, Matthew P. Fraser, Robert F. Curl, Thomas Harman, Frank K. Tittel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A laser spectrometer based on difference frequency generation (DFG) was deployed for real-time long-term monitoring of HCHO concentrations at an environmental monitoring site located at Deer Park, Texas, in the Greater Houston area. Three HCHO concentration measurements were made during the periods of July 20-31 (period I), August 2-14 (period IT), and August 24-September 25 (period III), 2002. In periods I and II, differences in HCHO concentrations are apparent between day and night measurements, with elevated concentrations during daylight hours. Most of the HCHO peak values are less than 20 ppbV except for two intense peaks on August 02 (∼25 ppbV) and August 04 (∼30 ppbV). The formaldehyde concentration levels in ambient air at the measurement site are produced mainly by the photochemical oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) caused by intense sunlight during periods I and II. This observation was made based on a comparison with the ozone concentration, solar radiation, temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed data obtained from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). During period III, data collected by a time-integrating wet-chemical technique are compared to the data collected by the spectroscopic instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Spectroscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Difference frequency generation
  • Formaldehyde detection
  • Laser absorption spectroscopy
  • Laser diodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Atmospheric Formaldehyde Monitoring in the Greater Houston Area in 2002'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this