Source Identification of Particulate Matter in a Semi-urban Area of Malaysia Using Multivariate Techniques

  • N. B. A. Wahid
  • M. T. LatifEmail author
  • L. S. Suan
  • D. Dominick
  • M. Sahani
  • S. A. Jaafar
  • N. Mohd Tahir


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.


Particulate 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. B. A. Wahid
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. T. Latif
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • L. S. Suan
    • 1
  • D. Dominick
    • 3
  • M. Sahani
    • 4
  • S. A. Jaafar
    • 1
  • N. Mohd Tahir
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and MathematicsUniversiti Pendidikan Sultan IdrisTanjung MalimMalaysia
  3. 3.Research Centre for Tropical Climate Change System (IKLIM), Institute for Climate ChangeUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  4. 4.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.Institute of Oceanography and EnvironmentUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia
  6. 6.Environmental Research Group, School of Marine Science and EnvironmentUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia

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