Identifying urban emission sources and their contribution to the oxidative potential of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Kuwait.

Mohammad Aldekheel, Ramin Tohidi, Ali Al-Hemoud, Fahad Alkudari, Vishal Verma, P. S.Ganesh Subramanian, Constantinos Sioutas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigated the seasonal variations, chemical composition, sources, and oxidative potential of ambient PM2.5 (particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 μm) in Kuwait City. The sampling campaign was conducted within the premises of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research from June 2022 to May 2023, covering different seasons throughout the year. The personal cascade impactor sampler (PCIS) operated at flow rate of 9 L/min was employed to collect weekly PM2.5 samples on PTFE and quarts filters. These collected samples were analyzed for carbonaceous species (i.e., elemental and organic carbon), metals and transition elements, inorganic ions, and DTT (dithiothreitol) redox activity. Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) and multi-linear regression (MLR) were used to identify the predominant emission sources and their percentage contribution to the redox activity of PM2.5 in Kuwait. The results of this study highlighted that the annual-averaged ambient PM2.5 mass concentrations in Kuwait (59.9 μg/m3) substantially exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline of 10 μg/m3. Additionally, the summer season displayed the highest PM2.5 mass concentration (75.2 μg/m3) compared to other seasons, primarily due to frequent dust events exacerbated by high-speed winds. The PCA identified four primary PM2.5 sources: mineral dust, fossil fuel combustion, road traffic, and secondary aerosols. The mineral dust was found to be the predominant source, contributing 36.1% to the PM2.5 mass, followed by fossil fuel combustion and traffic emissions with contributions of 23.7% and 20.3%, respectively. The findings of MLR revealed that road traffic was the most significant contributor to PM2.5 oxidative potential, accounting for 47% of the total DTT activity. In conclusion, this comprehensive investigation provides essential insights into the sources and health implications of PM2.5 in Kuwait, underscoring the critical need for effective air quality management strategies to mitigate the impacts of particulate pollution in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123165
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Feb 15 2024


  • Dust
  • Kuwait
  • Oxidative potential
  • Particulate matter
  • Source apportionment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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