Critical review of receptor modelling for particulate matter: A case study of India

Pallavi Pant, Roy Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

218 Citations (Scopus)
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India is used as a case study in reviewing the application of receptor models for source apportionment India has high concentrations of airborne particulate matter, and the application of effective abatement measures is a high priority, and demands confidence in the results of source apportionment studies. The many studies conducted are reviewed, and reveal a very wide range of conclusions, even for the same city. To some degree these divergences may be the result of using different sampling locations and/or seasons, but to a large extent differences probably arise from methodological weaknesses. The assignment of factors from multivariate receptor models to specific source categories is in many cases highly questionable as factors often include combinations of chemical constituents that are of low plausibility. This ambiguity in terms of presence of tracer elements may be the result of genuine collinearity of diverse sources, or more probably arises from methodological problems. Few studies have used either organic molecular markers or chemical mass balance (CMB) models, and there is a shortage of data on locally-derived emission source profiles, although recent work has begun to remedy this weakness. The conclusions include a number of recommendations for use in design of future studies. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • PM
  • Multivariate models
  • Receptor model
  • Source apportionment
  • Chemical mass balance
  • India


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