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Baghdad is the second largest city in the Middle East and suffers from severe air quality degradation due to the high levels of the atmospheric particulate matter (PM). Limited information exists regarding the sources of PM in Baghdad, and the lack of information on sources inhibits the development of control strategies to reduce air pollution. To better understand the nature of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Baghdad and the Middle East, a one year sampling campaign to collect PM2.5 was conducted from September 2012 through September 2013, missing August 2013 samples due to the security situation. 24-hour integrated samples collected on a 1-in-6 day schedule were analyzed for the major components, and monthly average samples were analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) methods to measure particle-phase organic molecular markers. The results of organic molecular markers were used in a chemical mass balance (CMB) model to quantify the sources of PM2.5 organic carbon (OC) and PM2.5mass. Primary sources accounted for 44% of the measured PM2.5, and secondary sources were estimated to make up 28% of the measured PM2.5. Picene, a tracer of coal combustion detected in Baghdad where there is no evidence for coal combustion, can be attributed to burning crude oil and other low quality fuels in Baghdad. Source apportionment results showed that the dominant sources of the carbonaceous aerosols in Baghdad are gasoline (37 ± 6%) and diesel engines (17 ± 3%) which can be attributed to the extensive use of gasoline and diesel powered generators in Baghdad. Wood burning and residual oil combustion contributed to 5 ± 0.4 and 1 ± 0.2% respectively of OC. The unresolved sources contributed to 42 ± 19% of the OC which represented the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and the unidentified sources.
Hamad, S. H., J. J. Schauer, J. Heo, & A. K. H. Kadhim (2015) Sourceapportionment of PM2.5 carbonaceous aerosol in Baghdad, Iraq, ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH 156:80-90.