No fireworks during Diwali, Delhi’s poor air quality due to burning of biomass: IIT Delhi study

Diwali celebrations in Delhi often coincide with the harvesting season and thus result in stubble burning. Both the activities seriously affect the ambient air quality, said Indian Institute technology (IIT) Delhi in a new study. These coincidental events often make it difficult to ascertain the effect of either of the two on ambient air pollution in the capital.

The study titled ‘Chemical Specification and Source Segmentation of Ambient PM 2.5 in New Delhi before, during and after Diwali Fireworks’ led by researchers from IIT Delhi sheds light on pollution sources affecting the ambient air quality in the capital. and after diwali

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The researchers found that the metal content increased by 1100 percent in PM 2.5 levels and during Diwali alone the metal accounted for 95 percent of PM 2.5 in fireworks. “However, within about 12 hours after Diwali, the effect of crackers subsides,” said lead author of the study Chirag Manchanda.

“Both stubble burning and increased heating requirements of the region in winter drive the biomass burning activity,” says Professor Vikram Singh, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Delhi, who was one of the investigators. Thus the study concludes that biomass burning emissions instead of fireworks exacerbate the poor air quality in Delhi in the days after Diwali.

Professor Mayank Kumar, principal investigator, said, “The results of this study provide important insights into the long-standing debate and debate between air quality experts and policy makers on the incidence of extreme air pollution in the Delhi capital after Diwali. Committed to reducing.” Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Delhi.

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The researchers found that emissions related to biomass burning increased sharply in the days following Diwali, with average levels rising by about an order of ~2 in comparison to the pre-Diwali concentration.

Source segmentation results related to organic PM2.5 indicate a significant increase in both primary and secondary organic pollutants in the days following Diwali, suggesting a role of biomass-burning related emissions in the increase in primary organic emissions and in turn , aged product after their Diwali festival. The research study, published in the journal ‘Atmospheric Pollution Research’, presents source segmentation results for highly time-resolved elemental and organic fractions of PM2.5 to address that challenge.

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