Khan Alam 1, Naheed Rahman1, Hidayat Ullah Khan1, Bibi Safia Haq2, Said Rahman3

  • 1 Department of Physics, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
  • 2 Jinnah College for Women, Department of Physics, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
  • 3 Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), P.O. Box 8402, Off University Road, Karachi- 75270, Pakistan

Received: October 16, 2014
Revised: January 9, 2015
Accepted: January 14, 2015
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Cite this article:
Alam, K., Rahman, N., Khan, H.U., Haq, B.S. and Rahman, S. (2015). Particulate Matter and Its Source Apportionment in Peshawar, Northern Pakistan. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 15: 634-647.


  • For the first time aerosol source apportionment have been analyzed in Peshawar.
  • The mean PM10 & PM2.5 values are 480 µg/m3 and 172 µg/m3, respectively.
  • Road dust, vehicular & industrial emission are the major sources of aerosol.



The present work is undertaken to investigate the aerosol volume and mass size distribution, concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) and its source apportionment by using GRIMM spectrometer data in the city of Peshawar, Northern Pakistan. In Peshawar, the concentration of Particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) was noticed to increase day by day due to rapid urbanization and industrialization. The use of several transportation activities, construction of buildings, roads and overhead bridges has badly affected the atmosphere of this region. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) Model has been used to find out different sources of PM in Peshawar. The data were collected for twenty days in April 2011 for both morning and afternoon periods. It has been observed that the values of aerosol volume size distribution were almost high during morning and afternoon rush hours. The mean concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 were determined to be 480 µg/m3 and 172 µg/m3, respectively. A reasonably significant correlation (R2 = 0.65) was also found between observed and expected PM mass. The PMF result revealed five (05) sources in Peshawar, which were re-suspended road/soil dust, vehicular, industrial, brick kiln emission and household combustion emission.

Keywords: PM10; Size distribution; PMF; Mass concentration; Peshawar

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