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King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. (KFUPM) 2016

LEVELS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER IN DAMMAM, DHAHRAN AND KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA

LAWAL, Taoreed Taiwo

Titre : LEVELS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER IN DAMMAM, DHAHRAN AND KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA

Auteur : LAWAL, Taoreed Taiwo

Université de soutenance : King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. (KFUPM)

Grade : Master of Science in Environmental Science 2016

Résumé
Health studies have linked a number of human respiratory problems to the high levels of particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere. In Saudi Arabia, there are few information on the assessment of PM with respect to their geochemical and morphological characteristics. This study was carried out to assess the levels and characteristics of airborne particulate PM10 matter in cities of Dammam, Dhahran and Khobar in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. PM samples were collected from three (3) different locations within each city over a period of 3 months (Oct. – Dec. 2015). PM samples were collected using ECOTECH Air Sampling device and concentration levels in µg/m3 were obtained using the difference in corrected volume and the change in weight. The samples were characterized using analytical techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDXs), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The results of the study showed that the average concentrations of PM10 were 126.00 µg/m3, 177.00 µg/m3, and 379.85 µg/m3 in Dammam, Dhahran, and Khobar respectively. The Morphological analysis showed that the shapes of PM samples collected from Dhahran were predominantly rod-like and platy with size between 2 – 6 µm, and the samples from Khobar were mostly irregular and size range between 2 – 8 µm and those from Dammam are nearly spherical with size ranging from 1 – 3 µm. The elemental composition showed the presence of carbon (C), oxygen (O), fluorine (F), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), potassium (K) and calcium (Ca) at varying percentage by weights in all sampling locations. The elemental compositions were confirmed with XRF. The mineralogical analysis obtained from XRD showed that calcite and montmorillonite clay minerals are the main constituents of the PM. Finally, trace metal analysis showed the presence of Mn, V, Zn and Ni at levels higher than what was obtainable from literature. Based on the results, it appears that most of the PM in the study area are from crustal materials which have biogenic or natural origin.

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