Headline: Source apportionment of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Lumbini, Nepal by using the positive matrix factorization receptor model

Indo–Gangetic Plain (IGP) is one of the most polluted regions in the world. Despite numbers of studies conducted at urban site, few data are available at rural area. In this study, characteristics of 15 particle-bound priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of total suspended particles (TSPs) collected at a typical rural area (Lumbini) of IGP from April 2013 to March 2014 were reported. The results showed that annual average TSP and PAH concentrations were 209 ± 123 μg/m3 and 94.8 ± 54.6 ng/m3, respectively, which were similar to those of large cities such as Agra and Delhi in the upwind adjacent regions. Clear seasonal variation of TSP and PAH concentrations was observed, with the highest average concentration occurring in winter followed by the pre-monsoon, post-monsoon, and monsoon seasons, reflecting combined influence of source strength and monsoon circulation on PAH concentrations of Lumbini. Positive matrix factorization analysis showed that biomass combustion (50.6%) and vehicular emissions (30.4%) were first two sources of PAHs, followed by coal combustion (11.6%) and air-soil exchange (7.4%), in line with that of diagnostic molecular ratios results. Because of extensive agro-residue burning, intensive forest fires, and conducive weather conditions, contribution of biomass burning during non-monsoon season (55.7%) was higher than that of monsoon season (42.1%). The total BaP equivalent concentration (BaPeq) of particulate PAHs ranged between 2.51 and 47.3 ng/m3, was 2–40 times higher than the WHO guideline (1 ng/m3), implying local residents were at risk for adverse health effects.

Publication Year
2016
Publication Type
Academic Articles
Citation

Chen, P., Li, C., Kang, S., Yan, F., Zhang, Q., Ji, Z., Tripathee, L., Rupakheti, D., Rupakheti, M., Qu, B., Sillanpää, M. (2016): Source apportionment of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Lumbini, Nepal by using the positive matrix factorization receptor model. - Atmospheric Research, 182, p. 46-53.DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2016.07.011

DOI
10.1016/j.atmosres.2016.07.011
Staff involved
Projects involved
A Sustainable Atmosphere for the Kathmandu Valley (SusKat)