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Pure Appl. Chem., 2013, Vol. 85, No. 12, pp. 2175-2196

Published online 2013-08-27

Source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments from polluted rivers

Stanley Moyo1, Rob McCrindle1*, Ntebogeng Mokgalaka1, Jan Myburgh2 and Munyaradzi Mujuru1

1 Department of Chemistry, Tshwane University of Technology, Pvt. Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2 University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Pvt. Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa

Abstract: Over the past few decades, in response to growing concerns about the impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on human health, a variety of environmental forensics and geochemical techniques have emerged for studying organic pollutants. These techniques include chemical fingerprinting, receptor modeling, and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA). Chemical fingerprinting methodology involves the use of diagnostic ratios. Receptor modeling techniques include the chemical mass balance (CMB) model and multivariate statistics. Multivariate techniques include factor analysis with multiple linear regression (FA/MLR), positive matrix factorization (PMF), and UNMIX. This article reviews applications of chemical fingerprinting, receptor modeling, and CSIA; comments on their uses; and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology.