A double stage, low volume particle sampler was used to collect PM10 and PM2.5 aerosol particles, both indoor and outdoor. XRF, SEM/EDS, Micro-Raman and XRD techniques were used to identify both the elemental composition and chemical speciation of particulate matter (PM) of both size fractions. The integration of the above techniques has enabled us to identify the constituents of both the coarse and fine fractions of PM. We have also found that the large amounts of ammonium sulfates ((NH4)2SO4) form in the atmosphere as a result of interaction of natural (coarse) fraction of pollutants with anthropogenic emissions such as SO2, NOx, ammonia(NH3) and ammonium compounds, originating from fossil fuel burning mainly for energy generation. Such interactions of PM during transport in the atmosphere, in the presence of humidity, also modify the properties and toxicity of PM, especially for the fine and ultra-fine fractions. EDS elemental maps, XRD and RAMAN spectroscopy have enabled us to identify several secondary pollutants that form in the atmosphere as a result of such interactions, such as (CaMg(CO)3) and ((Fe,Mg)2SiO4). Anthropogenic emissions therefore have drastic consequences in forming new compounds with fine particulate sizes as a result of interaction with natural coarse emissions originating from dust storms, sea salts and crustal materials. These secondary fine pollutants may have severe health consequences. Our results suggest that reducing emissions of power plants will drastically reduce these undesired reactions and the formation of these fine-sized secondary pollutants. Moving towards renewable and clean energy sources such as solar and nuclear sources will lead to reducing secondary pollutants emissions. The UAE has recently initiated several projects both related to both solar and nuclear power plants. These projects will lead to tremendous reduction of fine particulate pollutants originating from primary anthropogenic sources and from interaction of natural coarse pollutants with these anthropogenic emissions.


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