Emissions of Indoor Air Pollutants from Biomass Fuels Used in Northern region of India and Assessment of Associated Health Risk
RANU GADI (1), D.P. Singh (1), Trailokya Saud (2) and T.K Mandal (2)
(1) GGS Indraprastha University, Delhi, India, (2) National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, India
Abstract Number: 587
Preference: Platform Presentation
Last modified: May 13, 2010
Working Group: Carbonaceous Aerosols in the Atmosphere
The most important indoor air pollutants in the developing countries are the combustion products of biomass fuels such as fuelwood, dung cakes and crop residues. Type of fuels used in the residential sector in India varies with different environment and availability of the local fuels. It also varies by way of cooking food in the open fires or in the rural cookstoves. Out of the residential fuels, 70 to 80% of the energy needs in rural India are met with the use of biomass fuels. Poor kitchen ventilation along with low efficiency cookstoves and large amount of fuels used results in many cases, in serious indoor air pollution. The combustion of biomass fuels and fossil fuels release complex mixtures of various species viz., organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), NO$_X, SO$_2, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). PAH and VOC are of special interest due to their toxicity, carcinogenicity and ubiquitous presence in the environment.
In recognition of the need to identify and develop cleaner domestic combustion systems, this study aims at providing an initial assessment of total emissions from indoor combustion specially in the rural sector of Northern region of India. An extensive sampling and survey campaign was conducted for the collection of biomass fuels being used in Northern region covering the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh. An experimental setup has been designed to carry out controlled burning of biomass fuels similar to the residential application in India. Efforts have been made to study the emissions of OC, EC, NO$_X, SO$_2, PAH and VOC from various fuels to evaluate their emission factors and derive budget estimates for India. The preliminary budget estimates from biomass fuels in India for above species are 2.0, 0.7, 0.3, 0.8, 0.02 and 0.01 Tg, respectively. Extensive studies are being carried out on various fuels commonly used in the rural sector in India and comprehensive results would be presented. The extent of annual emissions, thus estimated would form the basis to devise a strategy to minimize such emissions & assess the policy enforced by the government for the improvement of air quality and hence better livelihood.