Potential source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments from the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, China

Jinglan Feng, Xiaoying Li, Wei Guo, Shuhui Liu, Xiaomin Ren, Jianhui Sun
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2014, 21 (19): 11447-56
In this work, principal component analysis/multiple linear regression (PCA/MLR), positive matrix factorization (PMF), and UNMIX model were employed to apportion potential sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediments from middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, based on the measured PAHs concentrations in sediments collected from 22 sites in November 2005. The results suggested that pyrogenic sources were major sources of PAHs. Further analysis indicated that source contributions of PAHs compared well among PCA/MLR, PMF, and UNMIX. Vehicles contributed 25.1-36.7 %, coal 34.0-41.6 %, and biomass burning and coke oven 29.2-33.2 % of the total PAHs, respectively. Coal combustion and traffic-related pollution contributed approximately 70 % of anthropogenic PAHs to sediments, which demonstrated that energy consumption was a predominant factor of PAH pollution in middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. In addition, the distributions of contribution for each identified source category were studied, which showed similar distributed patterns for each source category among the sampling sites.

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