Tropical Air Chemistry in Lagos, Nigeria

Adebola Odu-Onikosi, Pierre Herckes, Matthew Fraser, Philip Hopke, John Ondov, Paul A. Solomon, Olalekan Popoola, George M. Hidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Nigerian city of Lagos experiences severe air pollution as a result of emissions and subsequent atmospheric photochemistry and aerosol chemistry. A year-long study, between Au-gust 2020 and July 2021, included measurements of gas-phase and aerosol processes, with surface meteorology at six urban sites. The sites were selected to represent near seacoast conditions, urban sites, and inland locations near agricultural and grassland ecosystems. The observations included continuous concentrations for CO, SO2, NOx, O3, PM2.5, and PM10. Samples were collected and ana-lyzed for speciated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate chemical composition including inorganic and organic chemical species. The average diel variations in concentrations indi-cated well-known local photochemistry resulting from the presence of combustion sources, including motor vehicles, petroleum production and use, and open burning. The annual diel characteristics were emission-dependent and were modulated by meteorological variability, including the sea breeze and the seasonal changes associated with monsoons and Harmattan winds. Gases and particulate matter varied daily, consistent with the onset of source activities during the day. Fine particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) included both primary particles from emission sources and secondary particles produced in the atmosphere by photochemical reactions. Importantly, particle sources included a large component of dust and carbonaceous material. For the latter, there was evidence that particle concentrations were dominated by primary sources, with little secondary material formed in the atmosphere. From complementary measurements, there were occasions when regional chemical processes affected the local conditions, including transportation, industry, commercial activity, and open waste burning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1059
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • air pollutants
  • atmospheric chemistry
  • low-cost sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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