Main Article Content

<b>Mass concentrations and elemental composition of urban atmospheric aerosols in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia</b>

G. Gebre
Z. Feleke
E. Sahle-Demissie


Aerosol samples were collected from 22 February 2008 to 15 April 2008 and 17 June 2008 to 23 July 2008 in urban and peri-urban areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the aim to assess the spatial and temporal aspects of total suspended particulate (TSP) and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 µm (PM10) and their composition in terms of metallic elements. Sixty six filter samples were collected from seven distinct sites using I.O.M. multi fraction dust samplers and fiber glass filter papers. The mass of each particulate matter sample was measured gravimetrically and the composition of PM10 samples was analyzed using ICP-OAES and SEM-EDAX. The concentration of TSP was in the range of 17-556 µg/m3 and that of PM10 was in the range of 17-285 µg/m3. The highest TSP and PM10 peak values were observed in February 2008 at two sites, whereas the lowest TSP and PM10 values were observed in June and July 2008 at two sites. The mean TSP concentration surpassed the WHO safe guideline value of 150 µg/m3 and 79 % of the PM10 values were below the WHO guideline value. The PM10 to TSP mass ratio was in the range 0.26-0.59 and PM10 mass contributed about 39% to the TSP mass. The average element concentration in PM10 filter sample was in the order of Ca > Na > K > Zn > Sb > B > Al > V > Mg > S > Fe. All the analyzed elements contributed about 0.1% to the PM10 mass. SEM-EDAX analysis of PM10 samples showed that Si, Al, Na, Zn, Ba, K and C were the predominant species. Crustal materials contributed 76-95% of the filter mass, and C and Cu represented 5-24%. The size distribution of aerosol particles as derived from SEM analysis was in 0.43-9.3 µm range.


KEY WORDS: TSP, PM10, Metal analysis, Atmospheric aerosol, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2010, 24(3), 361-373.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1726-801X
print ISSN: 1011-3924