Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 1085–1098 | Cite as

Anthropogenic platinum, palladium and rhodium concentrations in road dusts from Hyderabad city, India

  • Ramavati Mathur
  • V. Balaram
  • M. Satyanarayanan
  • S. S. Sawant
  • S. L. Ramesh
Original Article


This paper presents the first study of accessing the Pt, Pd and Rh levels in road dusts collected from Hyderabad city, India, as these metals, emitted from automobile catalytic converters, are accumulating in the environment causing concern about human health and ecological risks. Samples were analyzed by ICP-MS following preconcentration by NiS-fire assay and Te coprecipitation. Pt (1.5–43 ng/g), Pd (1.2–58 ng/g) and Rh (0.2–14.2 ng/g) concentrations obtained were above upper crust values, but were lower when compared with several other cities around the world. Dust samples from road junctions and traffic signals with heavy and erratic traffic flow showed higher PGE levels than those from roads with low and free flow traffic suggesting that traffic flow conditions greatly influenced emission of PGE from the catalyst. Significant correlation of Pt, Pd and Rh indicate a common source for these metals. PGE were also positively correlated with Ce, Zr, Hf and Y. These positive inter-element correlations identified traffic as the main source of PGE emission to the roadway environment. The results obtained indicate to an appreciable increase in auto catalyst-derived PGE. In consideration of the adverse effects of PGE, monitoring their level and transformation paths is of prime importance.


Platinum Palladium Rhodium NiS-FA-ICP-MS Road dust Catalytic converter Hyderabad 



The authors are thankful to Dr. V.P. Dimri, Director, National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, for giving permission to publish this work. The authors are grateful to Dr. T. G. Rao for his help during the analysis of the samples. The work was carried out as a part of ICP-MS National Facility Program supported by the Department of Science and Technology, India.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramavati Mathur
    • 1
  • V. Balaram
    • 1
  • M. Satyanarayanan
    • 1
  • S. S. Sawant
    • 1
  • S. L. Ramesh
    • 1
  1. 1.National Geophysical Research Institute (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)HyderabadIndia

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