Source Identification of Particulate Matter in a Semi-urban Area of Malaysia Using Multivariate Techniques
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This study aims to determine the composition and sources of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10) in a semi-urban area. PM10 samples were collected using a high volume sampler. Heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Pb, Mn, Cu, Cd and Ni) and cations (Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+) were detected using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, while anions (SO4 2−, NO3 −, Cl− and F−) were analysed using Ion Chromatography. Principle component analysis and multiple linear regressions were used to identify the source apportionment of PM10. Results showed the average concentration of PM10 was 29.5 ± 5.1 μg/m3. The heavy metals found were dominated by Fe, followed by Zn, Pb, Cu, Mn, Cd and Ni. Na+ was the dominant cation, followed by Ca2+, K+ and Mg2+, whereas SO4 2− was the dominant anion, followed by NO3 −, Cl− and F−. The main sources of PM10 were the Earth’s crust/road dust, followed by vehicle emissions, industrial emissions/road activity, and construction/biomass burning.
KeywordsParticulate matter Elemental composition Soluble ions Multivariate analysis Source apportionment
This study was funded by research Grant (FRGS/1/2013/STWN01/UKM/02/2) and industrial Grant (INDUSTRI-2011-013). Special thanks to K. Alexander and Dr. Rose Norman for assistance with the proofreading of this manuscript.
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