Ambient air inhalable particulate matter, Black Carbon (BC) and heavy metal concentration levels in the ambient air derived from combustion at a local palm kernel production site was assessed in this study. The goal of this work was to identify the effect of biomass burning from palm kernel oil production activities on ambient air quality at Akotokyir and its environs and the possible health effects. An IVL sampler and a Sierra Anderson (GAST) pump were used to sample PM10 air particulate matter from 20th December, 2014 to 23rd March, 2015. Elemental and black carbon concentrations were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and Smoke Stain Reflectometer respectively. The average mass concentration of the PM10 particulates was found to be 121.19 µg/m3 with maximum and minimum values of 658.68 µg/m3 and 21.01 µg/m3 respectively. The maximum and minimum BC mass concentration in PM10 particulates were 30.04 µg/m3 and 11.42 µg/m3 respectively and the mean percentage of BC was 8.5%. Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cd, Cr, Co, Ca, Mg, Na and K in the air particulates were analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. Na, Fe, Ca, and Mg were present as major elements whiles the rest were present in trace quantities. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed 5 major sources; biomass burning (36.69%), two stroke engines (17.46%), soil dust (16.76%), and Sea salt (7.81%). The fifth source could not be identified. Comparative Air Quality Index (AQI) analysis revealed that only 48.88% of the sampling days had air quality which could be classified as good, 32.55% as moderate, 6.98% as unhealthy, 6.98% as unhealthy for sensitive group and 4.61 % as hazardous.

The quality of the air in the atmosphere is affected by pollutants that are emitted in the atmosphere either through human activities or by natural occurrences like volcanic eruptions and wild bush fires. The severity of the problem depends on the capacity of the environment to assimilate the pollutants that are emitted into the environment. Increasing human activities due to population growth and technology has resulted in a rate of emission of pollutants higher than the environment can assimilate. Pollution arouses interest as an environmental issue because it impacts directly on man through effects on food supply, health, buildings and other items of cultural heritage as well as overt effects on forests, rivers, coastlines and familiar ecosystems. A number of studies of have underlined the connection between the presence of pollutants in the air and the occurrence of health problems. Policy makers need information on the quality of the air in any particular environment to enable them develop policies that will help to maintain or improve quality of the air in that environment. This thesis tries to provide information on the effect of palm kernel oil production activities to the ambient air by sampling the air at a site noted for palm kernel oil production. The sampled air will be analyzed for the presence of harmful pollutants. The concentration levels of the pollutants will be used to assess the quality of the air in that environment.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 99 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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