Characterization of atmospheric aerosols for organic tarry matter and combustible matter during crop residue burning and non-crop residue burning months in Northwestern region of India


Aerosol (total suspended particulate) samples collected at three diverse locations (urban-commercial, semi-urban and rural-agricultural) in Patiala, India were analyzed for loss on ignition (LOI) and organic tarry matter (OTM) content in ambient air during crop residue burning (CRB) episodes and non-crop residue burning (NCRB) months in 2006e2007. Results showed high levels of LOI and OTM during wheat and rice crop residue-burning periods at all the sites. Higher levels were obtained during rice crop residue-burning period as compared to the wheat residue-burning period. At semi-urban site, LOI varied between 53 36 mg m 3 and 257 14 mg m 3 constituting 38e78% (w/w) part of the aerosols whereas levels of OTM varied between 0.98 0.11 mg m 3 and 7.93 2.76 mg m 3 comprising 0.42e3.28% (w/w) fraction. At rural-agricultural area site, levels of LOI varied between 86 40 mg m 3 and 293 70 mg m 3 comprising 27e84% (w/w), whereas OTM levels varied between 1.31 0.64 mg m 3 and 10.09 6.56 mg m 3 constituting 0.83e2.42% (w/w) fraction of the aerosols. At urban-cum-commercial site, levels of LOI and OTM varied between 48 23 mg m 3 and 281 152 mg m 3 and 2.53 1.23 mg m 3 and 17.40 8.50 mg m 3, constituting 24e62% (w/w) part of the aerosols, respectively. Results also indicated that OTM and LOI were integral parts of aerosols and their concentrations were influenced by the crop residue burning practices with incorporated effect of vehicular activities in Patiala.


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


Atmospheric Environment , 2010


Aerosol, Loss on ignition ,Crop residue burning, Organic tarry matte, Combustible matter