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Scientia Africana

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Air quality in parts of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State

A.C. Tse, A.C. Oguama

Abstract


The quality of air in the University of Port Harcourt was assessed in forty-one (41) locations spread out among the three major campuses in confined (offices and laboratories) and unconfined (surroundings of offices and the main business areas) environments exposed to prolonged emissions from fossil fuel powered generating machines. The aim was to determine how clean or polluted the air is, and what associated effects might be of concern. A multi-gas monitor, IBRID MX6 model was used to measure the concentrations of Carbon monoxide (CO), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Ammonia (NH3), Sulphur dioxides (SO2), Ammonia (NH3), Nitrogen dioxides (NO2), Hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Methane (CH4), Volatile Organic Carbons (VOC) while an Aerosol Mass Monitor, GT-531 model measured Total Suspended Particulates which include PM1, PM2.5, PM7, PM10, and suspended particulate matter, SPM. Results reveals that among the three campuses, Choba Campus business area recorded anomalously high concentrations of SO2, NO, CO, CO2 outdoors well above regulatory limits, with CO and CO2 having the highest values. Choba Campus and College of Graduate Studies were poor in terms of high indoor VOC concentration. The Air Quality Index which tells how clean or polluted air is, rated the air quality in the university as very poor in terms of NO, NO2, and SO2. There is correlation between the pollution patterns and levels and the type and levels of human activity. CO2 and SO2 and NO2 have higher concentrations in areas with high emissions from generators where business centres continuously operate generators for their electricity supply. It is proposed that to reverse the trend of air quality impairment and the global warming contributions of the gases identified in this study, the shift to cleaner energy sources is imperative.



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