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AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STATUS IN RANIGANJ-ASANSOL AREA, INDIA

G. S. REDDY and BISWAJIT RUJ


Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Mahatma Gandhi Avenue, Durgapur, West Bengal, India ( author for correspondence, e-mail: gsreddy@cmeri.res.in)

(Received 31 January 2002; accepted 28 October 2002) Abstract. This investigation presents the assessment of ambient air quality with respect to suspended particulate matter (SPM), sulphur dioxide(SO2 ) and oxides of nitrogen(NOX ) at four sites (RGC, SRS, BBC and BCC) in the Raniganj-Asansol area in West Bengal, India. Ambient air was monitored with a sampling frequency of twenty four hours(3 8 hours) at each site on every alternate day (3 days a week) covering a period of one year. A total of 429 samples were collected from RGC, 429 from SRS and 435 each from the BBC and BCC sites. Meteorological parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, wind-speed and wind-direction were also recorded simultaneously during the sampling period. Monthly and seasonal variation of these pollutants have been observed and recorded. The annual average and range values have also been calculated. Results of the investigation indicates that the 95th percentile values of SPM levels exceed the limits (200 g m3 ) at RGC, SRS and BBC sites and is within the limit of 500 g m3 at the BCC sites. The 95th percentile values of SO2 levels did not exceed the reference level at any of the monitoring stations. The 95th percentile values of NOX are found to be exceeding the limit (80 g m3 ) at RGC, SRS and BBC sites but is within the prescribed limit of 120 g m3 at the BCC site. Further, it has been observed that the concentrations of the pollutants are high in winter in comparison to the summer or the monsoon seasons. Results of the investigation indicates that industrial activities, indiscriminate open air burning of coal by the local inhabitants for cooking as well as coking purposes, vehicular trafc, etc. are responsible for the high concentration of pollutants in this area. Keywords: ambient air quality, NOx , SO2 , SPM

1. Introduction Due to its vast potential of coal reserves, the Raniganj-Asansol area has added signicance in the economy of the state of West Bengal, India. This area is one of the biggest coal-mining and industrial regions in the eastern India, and has expanded considerably on all the fronts, namely, iron and steel industries, chemical factories, thermal power generation, locomotive works, etc., as well as population. Coal mining operations and allied industrial activities contribute to pollutants in the form of dust particles, gaseous pollutants, etc. in the ambient atmosphere of the Raniganj-Asansol area. Several authors have investigated the ambient air quality status in this coal eld area. SPM and other gaseous pollutants SO2 and NOX are high in the Dhanbad-Jharia coal eld area (Ghosh et al., 1982) which is closer to the Raniganj-Asansol area. SPM levels are higher in winter and lower during the summer in the Khaskusunda and Gudar mines of the Jharia coal-eld (Sahoo,
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 89: 153163, 2003. 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

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Figure 1. Map of Raniganj-Asanol area showing four monitoring sites. (1) RGC, (2) SRS, (3) BBC, (4) BCC.

1981). Sharma and Singh found in their investigation that loading/unloading and transportation of coal, poor condition of the roads and huge quantity of open-air coal burning are responsible for pollution in the Tilabini, Nakrakonda and Jhanjra blocks in this coal-eld area (Sharma and Sing, 1990). The present study area (Figure 1) was not investigated earlier. Hence the quality of ambient air deserves a systematic and scientic investigation. Such an investigation was conducted during the period 1993-94. The area under consideration lies between 23 35 N23 45 N and 86 55 E-87 10 E respectively., and the altitude of the region with respect to the mean sea level is 125 m. The highest temperature in the area during the summer months often reaches 44 C, whereas during the winter months the same may drop to 8 C or even below. This paper presents the data collected over period of one year to determine the levels of SPM, SO2 and NOX in the Raniganj-Asansol area. Four sampling stations, namely, Raniganj Girls College (RGC), Searsol Raj High School (SRS) Raniganj, B.B. College (BBC) Asansol and B.C. College (BCC) Asansol were chosen and characterization of these four sites have been illustrated in Table I.

2. Methodology The frequency of sampling was twenty-four hours monitoring [38 hours duration (6.0014.00 h, 14.0022.00 h and 22.006.00 h)] at each site on every alternate day (three days in a week) covering a period of one year. The total SPM was measured using High Volume Samplers (Model Envirotech APM 410, which is similar to Anderson Basic High Volume Sampler) and operated at an average ow rate of 1.01.5 m3 min1 . Preweighed glass bre lters (GF/A) of Whatman (collection

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TABLE I Characterization of four monitoring sites Sampling station and location Zonal activities Major sources of pollution in 2 km radius Colliery, Lime works Cast iron factory Spray painting works Glass factory Tyre factory Transportation activities Coal burning, etc. Colliery, Steel factory, Glass factory, Coal burning, Transportation activities, Coal handling plant, etc. Colliery Limestone works Firebricks works Spray painting works Battery works Candle factory Transportation activities Coal burning, etc. Steel Plant Oil mill Polythene factory Soap manufacturing works Burn Standard Company Transporation activities Coal burning, etc. Elevation of sampler above ground level (m)

Ranigunj Giris College, Ranigunj (RGC)

Residential / Mining

4.5

Searsol Raj High School, Ranigunj (SRS)

Residential / Commercial

8.0

B.B. College, Asansol (BBC)

Residential / Commercial

8.5

B.C. College, Asansol (BCC)

Industrial

9.5

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efciency down to 0.5 micron) were used and the concentration computed as per standard methods described in IS: 5182 (Part IV), 1987. SO2 and NOX were collected by bubbling the sample in a specic absorbing (sodium tetrachloromercurate for SO2 and sodium hydroxide for NOX ) solution at an average ow rate of 0.20.5 l min1 . The impinger samples were put in ice boxes immediately after sampling and transferred to a refrigerator until analyzed. SO2 and NOX were analyzed spectrophotometrically using the West-Gaeke method described in IS: 5182 (Part II), 1987 and Jacobs and Hochheiser method described in IS: 5182 (Part VI), 1992 respectively. Wind-speed and wind-direction were measured by using a Wind Vane cum Robinsons Cup Anemometer. A Hygrometer was used for the measurement of dry and wet bulb temperatures and corresponding relative humidity.

3. Results and Discussions Figure 2 represents the monthly variation of SPM, SO2 and NOXat the four sites. The seasonal variation of these pollutants in terms of the range and the average values are depicted in Table II. The annual ambient air quality status in the form of the arithmetic mean and geometric mean are shown in Table III. The annual percentile values for SPM, SO2 and NOX are shown in Table IV. The meteorological data with respect to wind-speed and wind-direction were collected from the study area, analyzed and represented in the form of Wind Rose Diagram in Figure 3a3c covering the three seasons. It can be seen that during the summer period (March June), the dominant wind direction is towards S/NW/SE with low calm conditions (5.7%). It can also be noted that the dominant wind speeds are generally in the 46 km h1 range, but intensify as the summer progresses and are very often in the higher range of 810 km h1 . As the monsoon approaches, the predominant wind direction changes to NE/ESE/SE quadrants and the percent of calm periods increases to 17.3. The predominant wind speed is in the range of 24 km h1 and 68 km h1 . The dominant wind direction during the winter period (November-February) is towards NW/N/NE and the dominant wind speed is in the range of 24 km h1 . The percent of calm periods during the period is about 11.3. It was observed from the meteorological data that the highest temperature attained was during the month of May (44 C) and the lowest in the month of January (6 C). The period between June to November experiences high relative humidity of 50% all through the day. The maximum and minimum relative humidity is almost constant during the period December-February.

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Figure 2. Monthly variation of SPM, SO2 and NOX .

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Figure 3. Windrose diagram for three seasons (a) summer, (b) monsoon, (c) winter.

TABLE II Seasonal variation of SPM, S02 and NOX at the four monitoring sites

Sampling Station S02 SPM S02 SPM S02

Summer NOX

Monsoon NOX

Winter NOX

SPM

RGC

SRS

BBC

BCC

1.6124.25 [9.39) 1.3736.43 [10.93] 1.1328.71 [9.87] 3.0833.90 [10.64]

12.32118.89 [53.32] 15.20107.23 [47.97] 19.3799.24 [46.92] 21.74107.00 [52.77]

43.00397.00 [171.2] 82.00541.00 [227.90] 36.00369.00 [162.00] 31.00683.00 [155.60]

3.3125.64 [10.94] 4.2825.95 [10.92] 3.8837.65 [12.47] 3.6227.81 [l 0.99]

8.29114.97 [44.08] 21.0390.52 [46.17] 14.5695.09 [47.44] 10.41103.60 [43.39]

25.00306.00 [120.40] 50.00334.00 [157.70] 32.00308.00 [129.60] 31.00253.00 [106.50]

4.1641.68 [17.56] 4.2955.44 [18.03] 2.1442.87 [17.68] 5.7136.66 [18.90]

24.69197.50 [80.331 28.53189.20 [86.36] 14.52175.40 [76.03] 22.37190.04 [80.35]

54.00520.00 [306.80] 89.00673.00 [365.90] 83.00618.00 [335.10] 50.00516.00 [283.90]

AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STATUS IN RANIGANJ-ASANSOL AREA, INDIA

Range values and average values of S02 , NOX and SPM are expressed in g m3 average values are shown with parenthesis.

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TABLE III Annual ambient air quality status at four monitoring sites Sulphur dioxide (S02 ) in g m3 Range Arithmetic Geometric Mean mean 1.6141.68 1.3755.44 1.1342.87 3.0836.66 12.69 13.34 13.35 13.53 11.26 11.84 11.92 12.13 8.29197.50 15.20189.20 14.52175.40 10.41190.04 59.43 60.42 56.86 58.92 54.25 56.08 53.11 54.50 Nitrogen oxide (NOX ) in g m3 Range Arithmetic Geometric mean mean Suspended particulate matter in g m3 Range Arithmetic Geometric mean mean 25.00520.00 50.00673.00 31.00618.00 31.00683.00 200.41 250.97 209.45 182.41 188.20 235.50 197.58 168.52

G. S. REDDY AND BISWAJIT RUJ

Sampling Station

RGC SRS BBC BCC

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TABLE IV Annual percentile values of SPM, S02 and NOX at the four monitoring sites Sampling station Total samples Percentile 90

10

50

95

98

RGC SRS BBC BCC

429 429 435 435

Suspended Particulate Matter 73 173 363 105 220 453 74 178 393 60 166 336 Sulphur Dioxide 5.20 11.70 5.60 12.60 5.80 12.70 6.10 13.20

414 540 501 407

459 604 553 479

RGC SRS BBC BCC

429 429 435 435

24.90 25.20 24,80 26.50

29.30 31.30 28.90 29.50

35.50 38.10 35.20 35.20

RGC SRS BBC BCC

429 429 435 435

Nitrogen Oxides 28.20 54.00 100.80 32.40 52.50 103.40 30.50 50.00 96.00 31.00 51.20 98.00

116.70 138.70 110.20 118.20

141.70 166.90 126.60 162.90

Values are expressed in g m3

3.1. SPM It is observed from Figure 2 and Table II that the average SPM concentration was found to be much higher during winter (November-February) in comparison with the summer (March-June) and monsoon (July-October). This trend is the same in all the four monitoring stations. In winter, anti-cyclonic conditions prevail, which is characterized by calm or light winds (Figure 3C) and restricted mixing depth due to a stable or inversion atmospheric lapse rate, resulting in little dispersion or dilution of pollutants, which, in its turn, helps in the build-up of pollution concentrations to higher levels. Monsoon experiences the lowest SPM levels at the four monitoring sites, which is because of the wash-out of dust by intermittent precipitation. It is also observed that in general the SPM levels tend to decrease with increasing relative humidity. It is also seen that the SPM concentration is higher during the day than during the night. This is mainly attributed to the hectic industrial , mining and other community activities, as also to increased vehicular trafc during the day period. The same trend is followed in each season. From Table IV, it is observed that the 95th percentile values of SPM concentration levels at the RGC, SRS and BBC sites exceed the limit of 200 g m3 for residential/commercial area set by

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the Central Pollution Control Board, whereas the same lies well within the limit of 500 g m3 at the BBC site. 3.2. SO2 From Table III it is observed that the annual average of SO2 values were minimum and almost equal at all the monitoring sites and did not exceed the reference levels of 80 g m3 at any site. The average SO2 levels were relatively high during winter (Table II) in comparison with both the summer and the monsoon. Lower levels of SO2 during monsoon can be attributed to the removal of SO2 by precipitation. Relatively high levels of SO2 during winter can be attributed to the burning of more coal by the local people in cold weather conditions. Lower levels of SO2 values during summer can be attributed to the prevalence of high wind speeds due to which better dispersion of the pollutants takes place, resulting in reduced SO2 levels. From the annual percentile values of SO2 (Table IV), it is observed that 95% of the observations are less or equal to 30 g m3 , indicating that the SO2 concentration levels are well below the standard set by the Central Pollution Control Board. 3.3. NOX The annual average NOX concentration levels are comparable at the four monitoring sites (Table III), but did not cross the reference levels of 80/120 g m3 at any of the four sampling sites. Vehicles are the dominant transportation source of NOX in this region. The relatively high concentration of NOX at all these sites (annual average 56.8560.42 g m3 ) is mainly due to the fact that the RGC and BBC sites are near to the Grand Trunk Road, one of the busiest National Highways. The SRS site is near the bypass road and the BCC site is near the IISCO, Burnpur Works and the Burn Standard Company. Apart from industrial/mining activities, continuous heavy trafc ow on the Grand Trunk Road contributes signicantly to the increased levels of NOX at these sites. From Table IV, it is observed that the 95th percentile values of NOX exceed the specied limits at RGC, SRS, and BBC sites, but is within limits at the BCC site.

Acknowledgement The authors express their sincere thanks to the Director, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur, West Bengal, India, for his kind permission to publish the ndings in the form of this paper. The authors are thankful to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board for their nancial support for conducting the study.

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References
Ghosh, S. K., Sinha, J. K. and Banerjee, S. P.: 1982, Air Pollution in Dhanbad and its Impact on Human Health, in Proceeding of the Seminar on Minerals and Ecology, Session 5, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, 67 March:15. Sahoo, B. N.: 1981, Environmental Pollution of Mine Atmosphere with Special Reference to Particulate Pollution, Ph.D. Thesis, Dhanbad, Indian School of Mines. Sharma, P. K. and Singh G.: 1990, Assessment of air quality in Tilaboni, Nakrakonda and Jhanjra block of Raniganj coal eld, Indian J. Env. Protect. 10(2): 105112.