Identification and source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air particulate matter of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

El-Mubarak, Aarif; Rushdi, Ahmed; Al-Mutlaq, Khalid; Bazeyad, Abdulqader; Simonich, Staci; Simoneit, Bernd
January 2014
Environmental Science & Pollution Research;Jan2014, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p558
Academic Journal
In an effort to assess the occurrence and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the ambient air of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, PM samples were collected during December 2010. Diagnostic PAH concentration ratios were used as a tool to identify and characterize the PAH sources. The results reflect high PM and PAH concentrations (particulate matter (PM) = 270-1,270 μg/m). The corresponding average PAH concentrations were in the range of 18 ± 8 to 1,003 ± 597 ng/m and the total concentrations (total PAHs (TPAHs) of 17 compounds) varied from 1,383 to 13,470 ng/m with an average of 5,871 ± 2,830 ng/m. The detection and quantification limits were 1-3 and 1-10 ng/ml, respectively, with a recovery range of 42-80 %. The ratio of the sum of the concentrations of the nine major non-alkylated compounds to the total (CPAHs/TPAHs) was 0.87 ± 0.10, and other ratios were determined to apportion the PM sources. The PAHs found are characteristic for emissions from traffic with diesel being a predominant source.


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