Sidali Khedidji1,2, Konrad Müller3, Lyes Rabhi1,4, Gerald Spindler3, Khanneh Wadinga Fomba3, Dominik van Pinxteren3, Noureddine Yassaa This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,5, Hartmut Herrmann This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.3


1 Faculty of Chemistry, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), 16111 Algiers, Algeria
2 Departments of Chemistry, University of Akli Mohand Oulhadj, Bouira 10000, Algeria
3 Atmospheric chemistry department (ACD), Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), 04318 Leipzig, Germany
4 Scientific and Technical Research Center in Physico-Chemical Analysis (CRAPC), 420004 Tipaza, Algeria
5 Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (CDER), 16340 Algiers, Algeria


Received: December 24, 2019
Revised: July 3, 2020
Accepted: July 26, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Khedidji, S., Müller, K., Rabhi, L., Spindler, G., Fomba, K.W., Pinxteren, D.V., Yassaa, N. and Herrmann, H. (2020). Chemical Characterization of Marine Aerosols in a South Mediterranean Coastal Area Located in Bou Ismaïl, Algeria. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Inorganics and SVOCs were measured in particulates from coastal area of Algiers.
  • Sulfate, nitrate and ammonium constitutes 65% of the totals of the ionic species.
  • Impact of anthropogenic sources was assessed by nss-SO42 and diagnostic ratios.
  • OC and EC sources showed the formation of secondary organic aerosols.


Daily concentrations of inorganic and organic compounds associated with PM10, i.e. atmospheric particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 μm, was determined at the south Mediterranean coastal area located in Bou Ismaïl, 40 km west of the Algiers city area in Algeria. From September 2011 to January 2012, chemical characterization of aerosol particles comprising water-soluble ions (WSI), trace metals, carbonaceous aerosols, the anhydrosugars levoglucosan and arabitol, dicarboxylic acids, and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC), i.e., alkanes, PAHs, and hopanes, was carried out by using a variety of analytical techniques. Overall, the concentrations of selected ionic species were similar to those reported at other Mediterranean sites, ranging from 3.62 μg m-3 to 5.20 μg m-3 for the monthly total WSI. Sulfate was the most abundant ion. The total concentrations of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) recorded in Bou Ismaïl ranged from 7.06 to 58.8 ng m-3 for n-alkanes, from 2.44 to 35.3 ng m-3 for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), from 0.14 to 1 ng m-3 for hopanes, and from 0.67 to 13.2 ng m-3 for n-alkan-2-one. In order to reconcile species concentrations and their emission sources, sampling days were grouped into two categories according to air mass origin. In the first group, the aerosol particles were mainly of a marine origin, while those of the second group originated in the dust sector. A source analysis of inorganic compounds by principal compound analysis (PCA) illustrated that the principal sources consisted of sea salt, secondary aerosol, and biomass burning. Additionally, PM10 constituent diagnostic ratios and the carbon preference index (CPI) for n-alkanes indicated the importance of anthropogenic emissions.

Keywords: PM10; Ions; SVOC; PAHs; Anthropogenic sources.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:-. 

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