Receptor modelling study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Mansour A. Alghamdi, Mohammed S. Alam*, Jianxin Yin, Christopher Stark, Eun-Hwa Jang, Roy M. Harrison, Magdy Shamy, Mamdouh I. Khoder, Ibrahim I. Shabbaj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
381 Downloads (Pure)


Measurements of 14 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) have been made in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with a view to establishing the concentrations in this major city, and quantifying the contributions of major sources. Particulate and vapour forms have been sampled and analysed separately. The concentrations are compared to measurements from other sites in the Middle Eastern region and are towards the lower end of the range, being far lower than concentrations reported from Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Assiut (Egypt) and Tehran (Iran) but broadly similar to those measured in Damascus (Syria) and higher than those measured in Kuwait. The partitioning between vapour and particle phases is similar to that in data from Egypt and China, but with many compounds showing a higher particle-associated percentage than in Birmingham (UK) possibly reflecting a higher concentration of airborne particulate matter in the former countries. Concentrations in Jeddah were significantly higher at a site close to the oil refinery and a site close to a major ring road than at a suburban site to the north of the city. Application of positive matrix factorisation to the pooled data elicited three factors accounting respectively for 17%, 33% and 50% of the measured sum of PAH and these are interpreted as arising from gasoline vehicles, industrial sources, particularly the oil refinery, and to diesel/fuel oil combustion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date25 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2015


  • PAH
  • PMF
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Positive matrix factorisation
  • Source apportionment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering


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