Chemical source profiles of fine particles for five different sources in Delhi

Sarkawt Hama, Prashant Kumar*, Mohammed S. Alam, Daniel J. Rooney, William J. Bloss, Zongbo Shi, Roy M. Harrison, Leigh R. Crilley, Mukesh Khare, Sanjay Kumar Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Increasing emissions from sources such as construction and burning of biomass from crop residues, roadside and municipal solid waste have led to a rapid increase in the atmospheric concentrations of fine particulate matter (≤2.5 μm; PM2.5) over many Indian cities. Analyses of their chemical profiles are important for receptor models to accurately estimate the contributions from different sources. We have developed chemical source profiles for five important pollutant sources - construction (CON), paved road dust (PRD), roadside biomass burning (RBB), solid waste burning (SWB), and crop residue burning (CPB) - during three intensive campaigns (winter, summer and post-monsoon) in and around Delhi. We obtained chemical characterisations of source profiles incorporating carbonaceous material such as organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), water-soluble ions (F, Cl, NO2, NO3, SO42−, PO43−, Na+ and NH4+), and elements (Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Br, Rb, Sr, Ba, and Pb). CON was dominated by the most abundant elements, K, Si, Fe, Al, and Ca. PRD was also dominated by crustal elements, accounting for 91% of the total analysed elements. RBB, SWB and CPB profiles were dominated by organic matter, which accounted for 94%, 86.2% and 86% of the total PM2.5, respectively. The database of PM emission profiles developed from the sources investigated can be used to assist source apportionment studies for accurate quantification of the causes of air pollution and hence assist governmental bodies in formulating relevant countermeasures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129913
Number of pages15
Early online date9 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is led by the University of Surrey’s GCARE team under the framework of the project – An Integrated Study of Air Pollutant Sources in the Delhi National Capital Region (ASAP-Delhi) – that has been supported by the UK Natural Environmental Research Council ( NERC ) [grant number NE/P016510/1 ; NE/P016499/1 ] as a part of the UK-India NERC - MoES programme on Air Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity (Delhi). The authors thank Arvind Tiwari (GCARE, University of Surrey) and Louisa Kramer (University of Birmingham) for their help during the fieldwork.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • Chemical composition
  • Megacity Delhi
  • PM emission
  • Receptor modelling
  • Source marker
  • Source profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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