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Volume 17, No. 2, February 2017, Pages 476-484 PDF(507 KB)  Supplementary MaterialPDFPDF (565 KB)
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.03.0123   

Identification of Sources of Fine Particulate Matter in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Shirani Seneviratne1, Lakmali Handagiripathira1, Sisara Sanjeevani1, Dulanjalee Madusha1, Vajira Ariyaratna Ariyaratna Waduge1, Thilaka Attanayake1, Deepthi Bandara2, Philip K. Hopke3

1 Atomic Energy Board, 60/460, Baseline Road, Orugodawatta, Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka
2 Central Environmental Authority, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
3 Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA


  • Sampling for fine and coarse particles was conducted in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
  • Samples were analyzed for elements and BC.
  • Source apportionment was conducted with EPA PMF V5.0 using its error analysis tools.
  • Soil, sea salt, traffic, biomass burning, and metallurgical industries were identified.



Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and a major tourist destination. It is a fast growing city with continuous construction of buildings, roads and historical places. More than 100 samples of fine particulate matter (PM) were collected using a GENT stacked filter sampler from a fixed site at the regional sampling station of Department of Meteorology situated in Katugastota, Kandy over the period of 2012 to 2014. Black carbon (BC) in these filters were determined by reflectance measurements while their elemental compositions were determined using the X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Analysis of the elemental data suggests that the PM in Kandy originates largely from re-suspended soil and anthropogenic sources. The fine particulate matter data including BC and major elements (Na, Mg, Al, Si, Cl, Fe, Zn, Ni, Cu, V, S, Br, Pb, Cr, K, Ca and Ti) was analyzed using EPA-PMF version 5.0 (Positive Matrix Factorization) to explore the possible sources of the PM at the study site. Five factors were found and identified as soil, aged sea salt, vehicular emissions, biomass burning, and industrial sources.



Keywords: Particulate matter; Source apportionment; Positive Matrix Factorization; Sri Lanka.



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