Source apportionment of organic pollutants in fine and coarse atmospheric particles in Doha, Qatar

Wasim Javed, Minas Iakovides, Rajyalakshmi Garaga, Euripides G. Stephanou, Sri Harsha Kota, Qi Ying, Jack M. Wolfson, Petros Koutrakis, Bing Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the sources of organic pollutants associated with fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM2.5–10) atmospheric particulate matter in Doha, Qatar based on an eight-month sampling campaign conducted from May to December 2015. Multiple organic compound tracers including 36 PAH members, 25 n-alkane homologs, 17 hopanes, and 12 steranes were used for organic aerosols source apportionment. Source apportionment based on specific molecular markers, molecular diagnostic ratios/indices, and positive matrix factorization (PMF) modeling showed that similar sources are responsible for both fine- and coarse-particle organic pollutants. PMF analysis showed that biogenic aerosols, fugitive dust emissions, gasoline engine emissions, diesel engine emissions, and heavy oil combustion were the five main pollution sources of organic aerosols, which agreed well with the results from the diagnostic ratios analysis. The conditional bivariate probability functions (CPF) and potential source contribution function (PSCF) indicated that both regional (i.e., mixed biogenic/secondary particles and oil refinery/shipping emissions) and local sources contributed to airborne organic aerosol concentrations observed at the site, depending on the wind speed and direction. It appears that the relatively high levels of organic pollutants were contributed by local anthropogenic sources, such as fossil fuel combustion, vehicular emissions, and fugitive dust emissions. The high levels of local contributions indicated that there might be great opportunities for Qatar to considerably reduce emissions so that population exposures to carbonaceous aerosols and the public health risks associated with air pollution can be minimized. Implications: Multiple organic tracers and various source apportionment techniques have been used for convincing source apportionment. It was found that both long-range and local sources have a significant impact on atmospheric carbonaceous particles in the area, depending on the wind conditions. Relatively high levels of organic pollutants attributed to local anthropogenic sources indicate that there are great opportunities for Qatar to establish and implement more efficient pollution control measures and policies. Regional sources such as petroleum refineries and shipping-vessels emissions in the Gulf region should also be regulated and managed through regional cooperation to improve the air quality in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1292
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Volume69
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Javed, W., Iakovides, M., Garaga, R., Stephanou, E. G., Kota, S. H., Ying, Q., Wolfson, J. M., Koutrakis, P., & Guo, B. (2019). Source apportionment of organic pollutants in fine and coarse atmospheric particles in Doha, Qatar. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 69(11), 1277-1292. https://doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2019.1640803