Preparation and Validation of Gridded Emission Inventory of Criteria Air Pollutants and Identification of Emission Hotspots for Megacity Delhi


Delhi is one of the many megacities struggling with punishing levels of pollution from industrial, residential, and transportation sources. Over the years, pollution abatement in Delhi has become an important constituent of state policies. In the past one decade a lot of policies and regulations have been implemented which have had a noticeable effect on pollution levels. In this context, air quality models provide a powerful tool to study the impact of development plans on the expected air pollution levels and thus aid the regulating and planning authorities in decision-making process. In air quality modeling, emissions in the modeling domain at regular interval are one of the most important inputs. From the annual emission data of over a decade (1990–2000), emission inventory is prepared for the megacity Delhi. Four criteria pollutants namely, CO, SO2, PM, and NO x are considered and a gridded emission inventory over Delhi has been prepared taking into account land use pattern, population density, traffic density, industrial areas, etc. A top down approach is used for this purpose. Emission isopleths are drawn and annual emission patterns are discussed mainly for the years 1990, 1996 and 2000. Primary and secondary areas of emission hotspots are identified and emission variations discussed during the study period. Validation of estimated values is desired from the available data. There is a direct relationship of pollution levels and emission strength in a given area. Hence, an attempt has been made to validate the emission inventory for all criteria pollutants by analyzing emissions in various sampling zones with the ambient pollution levels. For validation purpose, the geographical region encompassing the study area (Delhi) has been divided into seven emission zones as per the air quality monitoring stations using Voronoi polygon concept. Dispersion modeling is also used for continuous elevated sources to have the contributing emissions at the ground level to facilitate validation. A good correlation between emission estimates and concentration has been found. Correlation coefficient of 0.82, 0.77, 0.58 and 0.68 for CO, SO2, PM and NO x respectively shows a reasonably satisfactory performance of the present estimates.

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Correspondence to Manju Mohan.

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Mohan, M., Dagar, L. & Gurjar, B.R. Preparation and Validation of Gridded Emission Inventory of Criteria Air Pollutants and Identification of Emission Hotspots for Megacity Delhi. Environ Monit Assess 130, 323–339 (2007).

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  • Emission inventory
  • Megacity Delhi
  • Criteria pollutants
  • Voronoi polygon
  • Top-down approach