Emission of Toxic Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases from Crop Residue Open Burning in Southeast Asia

  • Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh
  • Didin Agustian Permadi
  • Nguyen Phan Dong
  • Dang Anh Nguyet
Part of the Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry book series (SPRINGERREMO)


Agricultural crop production plays an important role in the economic development of Southeast Asia (SEA) countries. Annually, large amounts of crop residues are generated and field open burning for land clearing is commonly practiced which emits considerable amounts of toxic air pollutants and climate forcing agents. This study estimated the emissions of toxic gases, aerosol, and greenhouse gases from the crop residue open burning (CROB) in SEA countries. Emission inventory (EI) was done using the activity data gathered from primary surveys and published records for the SEA countries. The best estimates of emission species were calculated using the emission factors and the activity data that were most relevant for the considered SEA countries. In 2010, the SEA CROB emissions, in Gg were: 16,160 for CO; 320 for NOx; 28 for SO2; 980 for NMVOC; 550 for NH3; 2060 for PM10; 1880 for PM2.5; 80 for BC; 885 for OC; 178,370 for CO2; 580 for CH4; and 14 for N2O. Indonesia was the top contributor of all emission species (25–39%) followed by Vietnam (17–30%), Myanmar (8–19%), and Thailand (7–16%). Among 8 crop types considered, rice straw field burning contributed dominantly (85–98%) to the total SEA CROB emissions, followed by sugarcane, maize, and soybean. Low and high emission estimates were calculated using the ranges of activity data and available emission factors, respectively, to assess the uncertainty of the emission estimate for each species. The obtained gridded SEA CROB emissions with a resolution of 0.1° × 0.1° revealed higher emission intensity over the agricultural land areas, especially of rice, sugarcane, and maize. Temporal emissions showed higher peaks in the months following major crop harvesting periods in the dry season. The EI data for CROB produced in this study provided a key input for assessment of relative contributions of the emission sources in the SEA for further development of emission reduction strategies.


Open burning Crop residue Gridded emission Monthly variations SEA 



We would like to thank the United State Agency for International Development—The National Science Foundation (USAID—NSF) for funding the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER)—Southeast Asia (SEA) Research Network project (PEER-SEA) which enabled this study. The FAO and various national statistical agencies are highly acknowledged for providing online crop data. We thank the NASA and USGS for providing the free online MODIS land cover and burned area products.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh
    • 1
  • Didin Agustian Permadi
    • 1
  • Nguyen Phan Dong
    • 1
  • Dang Anh Nguyet
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Engineering and Management, School of Environment, Resources and DevelopmentAsian Institute of TechnologyPathumthaniThailand

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