Siti Haslina Mohd Shafie, Mastura Mahmud This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Geography Programme, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600 Selangor, Malaysia


Received: February 24, 2020
Revised: September 14, 2020
Accepted: October 12, 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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Mohd Shafie, S.H. and Mahmud, M. (2020). Urban Air Pollutant from Motor Vehicle Emissions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 2793–2804.


  • Emissions from motor vehicles in Kuala Lumpur was studied.
  • Traffic emissions from some OECD countries are contrasted to Malaysia.
  • Various strategies to reduce traffic emissions by the local authorities were reviewed.


The increasing amount of motor vehicles that emit pollutants are contributing significantly to urban air pollution, be it in industrial or developing countries. This study investigates the emission of particulate matter (PM10) from exhaust and non-exhaust sources and gaseous pollutants, such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) from several different classes of motor vehicles in the tropical city of Kuala Lumpur. Air pollutants from fuel consumption were obtained from emission factors, while non-exhaust particulate matter was estimated from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Compilation of Air Pollutant Emissions Factors (AP-42). The total PM10 emissions from all classes of motor vehicles estimated from the tail-pipe exhaust was 1,029,883 kg, while non-exhaust sources were 1,573,539 kg. Emissions of PM10 from newly registered private cars was the most dominant at 214,427 kg, followed by emissions from motorcycles at 118,582 kg in 2014. Private cars also contributed 14,605 kg of CO and 5,726 kg of NOx in 2014, compared with 9,830 kg of CO and 3,854 kg of NOx in 2010. Comparison with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries shows that the total emissions for PM10 and NOx were lower in Malaysia than in most countries, but the CO emissions here were higher than in Asian countries such as Japan and Korea, as well as in other European countries. Various strategies and policies should be implemented by the local authorities and government agencies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector in urban areas to improve the quality of the urban environment, human health, and the urban community.

Keywords: Urban traffic; Gaseous emissions; Private cars; Urban pollution; Asia Pacific.

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