Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 17, pp 13111–13126 | Cite as

Characterization and source apportionment of particle number concentration at a semi-urban tropical environment

  • Md Firoz KhanEmail author
  • Mohd Talib Latif
  • Norhaniza Amil
  • Liew Juneng
  • Noorlin Mohamad
  • Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir
  • Hossain Mohammed Syedul Hoque
Research Article


Principal component analysis (PCA) and correlation have been used to study the variability of particle mass and particle number concentrations (PNC) in a tropical semi-urban environment. PNC and mass concentration (diameter in the range of 0.25–>32.0 μm) have been measured from 1 February to 26 February 2013 using an in situ Grimm aerosol sampler. We found that the 24-h average total suspended particulates (TSP), particulate matter ≤10 μm (PM10), particulate matter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) and particulate matter ≤1 μm (PM1) were 14.37 ± 4.43, 14.11 ± 4.39, 12.53 ± 4.13 and 10.53 ± 3.98 μg m−3, respectively. PNC in the accumulation mode (<500 nm) was the most abundant (at about 99 %). Five principal components (PCs) resulted from the PCA analysis where PC1 (43.8 % variance) predominates with PNC in the fine and sub-microme tre range. PC2, PC3, PC4 and PC5 explain 16.5, 12.4, 6.0 and 5.6 % of the variance to address the coarse, coarser, accumulation and giant fraction of PNC, respectively. Our particle distribution results show good agreement with the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) distribution.


PCA-MLR Particle number Diurnal variation Back trajectory Fire hotspot Aerosol size distribution 



The authors would like to thank the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for the Research University Grant (DIP-2012-020). We also would like to thank the Ministry of Education for the Fundamental Research Grant (FRGS/1/2013/STWN01/UKM/02/2). Special thanks to Ms K Alexander and Dr. Rose Norman for proofreading this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md Firoz Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohd Talib Latif
    • 1
    • 2
  • Norhaniza Amil
    • 2
    • 3
  • Liew Juneng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Noorlin Mohamad
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hossain Mohammed Syedul Hoque
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Tropical Climate Change System (IKLIM), Institute for Climate ChangeUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  3. 3.School of Industrial Technology (Environmental Division)Universiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  4. 4.School of Ocean EngineeringUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia

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