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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Md Firoz Khan.

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Responsible editor: Gerhard Lammel

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Khan, M.F., Latif, M.T., Amil, N. et al. Characterization and source apportionment of particle number concentration at a semi-urban tropical environment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 13111–13126 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4541-4

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Keywords

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