Atmospheric concentrations of particulate phase of PAHs and their possible sources, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

  • JI Ugwuanyia
  • AA Agbendea
  • A Onojaa
  • AI Ugwub


The Niger Delta Region of Nigeria is witnessing increase in petroleum exploration activities. Natural Crude oil deposits contain significant amounts of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) arising from chemical conversion of natural product molecules. The EPA (2002) has classified seven PAH compounds as probable human carcinogens. The impacts of atmospheric aerosols on the transports and gas-particles partitioning of the seven PAHs are assessed in Port Harcourt city in the Niger Delta Region. The study is modelled on framework of Pankow (1987, 1994) gas–particle partition theory. A GFF filters was used as instrument of data collection. PAHs possess very characteristics UV absorbance spectra that are unique for each ring structure. This property is employed in data analysis for various PAHs identification and quantification. Source identification of ambient PAHs is achieved by ratios of individual PAHs in particulate phase (Harrison et al., etc). Result shows a mean value of 0.889ngm-3 of PAHs’ concentration mainly dominated by petroleum pollutants, which calls for far reaching considerations of PAHs’ pollutants in Niger Delta.

Keywords: Port Harcourt, ambient particulate PAHs, partitioning, diagnostic ratios


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eISSN: 1595-0611