Impact of rice crop residue burning on levels of SPM, SO2 and NO2 in the ambient air of Patiala (India)


Ground-based ambient air monitoring was conducted at five different locations in and around Patiala city (29 490–30 470N Latitude, 75 580–76 540E Longitude) in Northern India in order to determine the impact of open burning of rice (Oriza sativa) crop residues on concentration levels of suspended particulate matter (SPM), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Covering sensitive, residential, agricultural, commercial and urban areas, sampling of these pollutants was organised during August 2006 to January 2007 and August 2007 to January 2008 casing two rice crop residue burning periods (October–November) using a high volume sampling technique combined with gaseous sampling systems. Gravimetric analysis was used in the estimation of total suspended particulate matter (TSPM) whereas SO2 and NO2 concentration was determined using spectrophotometer (Specord205, Analytikjena). Monthly average concentrations of SPM, SO2 and NO2 have shown significant up and down features at all the selected sampling sites during the study period. Monthly average concentrations (24 hour) of SPM, SO2 and NO2 varied from 100 11 mg m 3 to 547 152 mg m 3, 5 4mgm 3 to 55 34mgm 3 and 9 5mgm 3 to 91 39mgm 3. Substantially higher concentrations were recorded at the commercial area site as compared to the other sampling sites for all the targeted air pollutants. Levels of SPM, SO2 and NO2 showed clear increase during the burning months (October–November) incorporated with the effect of meteorological parameters especially wind direction, precipitation and atmospheric temperature.


Singh, Nirankar Mittal, Susheel K. Agarwal, Ravinder Awasthi, Amit Gupta, Prabhat K.


International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry , 2010


ambient air quality, rice crop residue burning, TSPM, NO2, SO2