Sampling protocol and rationale

Contents of particulate organic matter (POM) in the air were measured during the period 1998-1999 and 2005-2006 in the heart of Algiers, where several cases of annoyances were reported during hot and sunny days, possibly related to the presence of organic compounds in air. During 1998-1999 and 2002-2003, POM was also measured at the biggest waste landfill of Algeria located in Oued Smar, Algiers, where the emissions are not yet subjected to any control from Public Authorities. There, the global emission budget results from the contributions of open-air accumulation, waste degradation, and different combustion processes (from private houses, industries, and hospitals). It determines the formation of dirty fogs, which often envelops the region; that occurs mainly at night time or at sunrise, when meteorological stability is well developed (i.e., when the low wind rate and the thermal inversion are observed). Through the knowledge of composition of aerosol, information could be obtained concerning the ambient impact subsequent from the different sources of organic pollution, and Public Authorities could be helped to assume strategies aimed to get better air quality of that region. The results obtained should give big information about nature and concentrations of pollutants experienced by the region investigated and on sources of pollution. Therefore, it acts as an useful "database" for more extensive campaigns, which will be performed in the future.

Figure 42.1 provides the general view of Algiers Bay as well as a detailed position of the sites investigated. Urban POM was investigated by collecting samples at downtown Algiers. Because of the big number of cars and trucks running in the urban area of Algiers, high levels of NOX, volatile organic compounds (Yassaa et al., 2005), and black carbon were expected.

Fig. 42.1 General view of Algiers bay.

The second sampling station was located 50 m from the Oued Smar waste landfill, which is the largest one existing in Algeria. Oued Smar is located at about 13 km from downtown Algiers, southeast side to the city, and represents an important emission source for a number of atmospheric pollutants. The landfill lies in the west side of the industrial zone of Oued Smar and covers about 37.5 hectares. Emission from landfill comprises gaseous species (volatile organic compounds, SO2, NOX, CO, NH3) as well as solids (dusts, ashes, soot). According to a recent estimation, 4000 tons day-1 of wastes are stored there. Municipal wastes account for 1600 tons day-1 and the industrial ones, including toxic or dangerous substances, contribute for 2400 tons day-1. All these products are usually burned at open air, without any control of combustion parameters and release.

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