Sources of Carbonaceous Materials in the Airborne Particulate Matter of Dhaka

  • Begum, Bilkis A. (Chemistry Division, Atomic Energy Centre) ;
  • Hossain, Anwar (Chemistry Department, JahangirNagar University) ;
  • Saroar, Golam (Clean Air and Sustainable Environment, Department of Environment) ;
  • Biswas, Swapan K. (Clean Air and Sustainable Environment, Department of Environment) ;
  • Nasiruddin, Md. (Clean Air and Sustainable Environment, Department of Environment) ;
  • Nahar, Nurun (Chemistry Department, JahangirNagar University) ;
  • Chowdury, Zohir (Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University) ;
  • Hopke, Philip K. (Center for air Resource Engineering and Science, Clarkson University)
  • Received : 2011.05.12
  • Accepted : 2011.09.30
  • Published : 2011.12.31


To explore the sources of carbonaceous material in the airborne particulate matter (PM), comprehensive PM sampling was performed (3 to 14 January 2010) at a traffic hot spot site (HS), Farm Gate, Dhaka using several samplers: AirMetrics MiniVol (for $PM_{10}$ and $PM_{2.5}$) and MOUDI (for size fractionated submicron PM). Long-term PM data (April 2000 to March 2006 and April 2000 to March 2010 in two size fractions ($PM_{2.2}$ and $PM_{2.2-10}$) obtained from two air quality-monitoring stations, one at Farm Gate (HS) and another at a semi-residential (SR) area (Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka Campus, (AECD)), respectively were also analyzed. The long-term PM trend shows that fine particulate matter concentrations have decreased over time as a result of government policy interventions even with increasing vehicles on the road. The ratio of $PM_{2.5}/PM_{10}$ showed that the average $PM_{2.5}$ mass was about 78% of the $PM_{10}$ mass. It was also found that about 63% of $PM_{2.5}$ mass is $PM_1$. The total contribution of BC to $PM_{2.5}$ is about 16% and showed a decreasing trend over the years. It was observed that $PM_1$ fractions contained the major amount of carbonaceous materials, which mainly originated from high temperature combustion process in the $PM_{2.5}$. From the IMPROVE TOR protocol carbon fraction analysis, it was observed that emissions from gasoline vehicles contributed to $PM_1$ given the high abundance of EC1 and OC2 and the contribution of diesel to $PM_1$ is minimal as indicated by the low abundance of OC1 and EC2. Source apportionment results also show that vehicular exhaust is the largest contributors to PM in Dhaka. There is also transported $PM_{2.2}$from regional sources. With the increasing economic activities and recent GDP growth, the number of vehicles and brick kilns has significantly increased in and around Dhaka. Further action will be required to further reduce PM-related air pollution in Dhaka.



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