Megacity Delhi atmospheric emission quantification, assessment and impacts (DelhiFlux)

Lead Research Organisation: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Department Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects

Abstract

Inventories of emissions of pollutants to air form the basis for model predictions of air quality, visibility, human exposure, human health impacts, and climate change. They are further required to understand relationships between individual source locations or source types and targets. None of the model predictions and analyses can be better than the emission database on which they are founded. This project seeks to greatly improve the emissions inventory for the wider Delhi area, one of the most polluted conurbations globally. The emission inventory will be compiled at a 1 km x 1 km resolution with diurnal and seasonal temporal profiles. It will cover NOx, SOx, NH3, total volatile compounds with breakdown into its chemical profile, particulate matter in fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) size ranges, together with the toxic metal components within, as well as CO2 and CO as combustion tracers.
To improve the emission inventory we will make laboratory-based measurements of emission factors and also measure, for the first time in India, the emissions from individual vehicles under real-world driving conditions to characterize the actual Delhi vehicle fleet. We will further perform the first micrometeorological flux measurements of these compounds above the city and study their enrichment along a transect. This will provide further information on potentially missing sources and serve as a direct assessment of the quality of the emissions inventory.
We will further apply a state-of-the-art chemistry and transport model to infer the concentrations that would be expected on the basis of the new emissions inventory for comparison against concentration data from air quality networks and the wider NERC-MRC-MoES-DBT programme.

ODA compliance:
By providing the emissions data required to assess human exposure and develop cost-effective solutions to combat air pollution in Delhi, the project will target poverty and development issues. Accurate knowledge of emissions is a key factor underpinning the development of mitigation strategies which will deliver improved public health, whilst further allowing economic growth. Both the UK and Indian research teams will benefit from their interaction and exploitation of complementary expertise. The project will leave a legacy beyond the project lifetime by increasing the research capacity of the Indian teams and providing the knowledge base which will allow the findings to be extrapolated to the rest of India. Thus, the project findings will continue to contributing to the improvement of life and welfare of more than a billion people.

Planned Impact

Mitigation of air pollution in Delhi and assessment of human exposure are both heavily dependent on a reliable, quantitative assessment of emission sources in the urban area and surrounding regions. By generating and evaluating an improved emissions database for the region, DelhiFlux will provide a firm foundation for local government decisions that will benefit public health and well-being and inform studies addressing air quality and its mitigation.

Who will benefit:

1. Policymakers: Urban and regional government departments and ministries responsible for air quality policy-making in Delhi and surrounding regions and for designing mitigation strategies. These include the Ministry of Science & Technology, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the Ministry of Urban Development, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

2. General Public: Residents of Delhi and the National Capital Region who experience the impacts of air pollution on health and quality of life first-hand.

3. Scientific Community: Researchers interested in emissions inventory development; air quality modellers; atmospheric composition and climate modellers; the Indian atmospheric science community; UK and Indian researchers contributing to other parts of the Indian Megacity programme.


How they will benefit:

1. Policymakers: Decisions on emission controls require a sound understanding of the contribution of different source sectors to poor air quality. DelhiFlux will provide a much improved and evaluated high spatial resolution emission inventory that includes information on temporal variations and covers a much larger number of pollutants than currently available. This provides decision makers with the detailed information they need to develop control measures and to support long-term control of key sources such as vehicle traffic and biofuel burning.

2. General Public: The public will benefit from new knowledge of the key sources of poor air quality in Delhi, raising awareness of the measures that could be taken to address it. They will also benefit from the more informed decision-making that arises from it through better air quality that benefits their health and economic well-being.

3. Scientific Community: New measurements and understanding of emission sources and region-specific emission factors will be of immediate value to researchers building emissions inventories for the Indian subcontinent. This will benefit the wider national and international communities involved in megacity air quality modelling and in global scale modelling of atmospheric composition and climate. UK and Indian researchers will benefit from sharing expertise in novel flux measurements, emissions assessment and modelling, and the emissions data will improve operational air quality forecasting capacity in India. Other contributors to the Indian Megacity programme will benefit directly from new emissions data for Delhi, allowing them to make more reliable assessment of air pollution processes, attribution of human exposure, and mitigation approaches.


Addressing ODA Objectives:

The emissions data generated during this project will contribute directly to the development of effective and efficient methods of addressing air pollution in Delhi. As a major development issue, improvements in air quality will lead to better health outcomes and improved quality of life, underpinning future economic development in India. The results will be applicable to other cities in India, and the techniques can be applied in other developing countries. Both UK and Indian research teams will benefit from their interactions and from sharing their complementary expertise. The project will leave a lasting legacy that increases Indian research capacity and contributes to the future welfare of more than a billion people.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/P016502/1 30/11/2016 30/11/2019 £960,196
NE/P016502/2 Transfer NE/P016502/1 01/12/2019 31/03/2022 £82,320
 
Description Data analysis is still ongoing and reserach findings are preliminary at this stage.
So far our measurements highlight the importance of chlorine compounds in the gas and aerosol phase in Delhi's air, probably originating from incomplete combustion of plastics under non-controlled conditions. In addition, very high levels of trace metals and toxic poly-aromatic hydrocarbons have been detected.

In addition, contrasting a site characterised by high population densities and important transport arteries with one with strictly controlled local transport, it emerges that whilst the transport control reduces local emissions signficantly, but that this has little impact on the concentrations experienced by people living in the area with concentrations being very similar between both sites.
Exploitation Route Early results highlight the importance of municipal waste burning for Delhi's air quality, not just in its contribution to total particulate matter, but in releasing particularly toxic air pollutants such as metals, PAHs and halogenated compounds. Control of open refuse burning may emerge as an important recommendation for controlling health impacts in cities of India and elsewhere where this is common practice.

By contrast, traffic control, whilst reducing emissions, does not appear to be particularly effective in controlling concentrations and human exposure at the neighbourhood-scale, because the bulk of the pollution in Delhi is more regional (i.e. city-wide) in extent.
Sectors Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description The project work is at too early a stage for the scientific results to have filtered through to impact. However, as part of the project work we have engaged with our Indian project partners to improve / establish higher-quality measurement approaches in India and train personnel. For example, we have trained a postgraduate student at the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW), India, in the operation of state-of-the-art instrumentation for the measurement of aerosol chemical composition. We have hosted postgraduate student groups at our IGDTUW supersite and have worked with NPL-India in assessing the ammonia monitoring technology used in Indian networks (SAFAR, NPL) for artefacts under Delhi conditions. This will assist NPL's mission as India's primary metrology institute as it is taking on an extended role in providing national standardisation for air quality measurements in India.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub
Amount £17,534,969 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009019/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 11/2023
 
Description DelhiFlux joint project activities Delhi 
Organisation Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Department National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI)
Country India 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This is a Newton project with UK partners funded through NERC and four Indian partners funded through the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The Indian funding only came through recently. CEH is providing the UK leadership of the project and is preparing two major campaigns of direct (flux) measurements of emissions above Delhi. It is running the website for the wider APHH-India programme under which DelhiFlux is funded.
Collaborator Contribution NPL-India has been co-ordinating the setting up of two measurement sites in Delhi as well as importation of instrumentation. It will make emissions of a range of pollutants from burning sources (biomass & municipal refuse). NEERI is providing additional chemical analyses to the flux measurements and the burning sources. IIT-Rorkee is improving Delhi's emission inventory, taking on board measurements from other partners in the project (UK & Indian), IIT-Kanpur is applying an air chemistry and transport model to link emissions with observations of concentrations and to assess mitigation options. IGDTUW are hosting one of the measurement sites; we have trained IGDTUW staff in advanced measured approaches for aerosol composition.
Impact To date: establishment of measurement sites (in progress).
Start Year 2017
 
Description DelhiFlux joint project activities Delhi 
Organisation Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a Newton project with UK partners funded through NERC and four Indian partners funded through the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The Indian funding only came through recently. CEH is providing the UK leadership of the project and is preparing two major campaigns of direct (flux) measurements of emissions above Delhi. It is running the website for the wider APHH-India programme under which DelhiFlux is funded.
Collaborator Contribution NPL-India has been co-ordinating the setting up of two measurement sites in Delhi as well as importation of instrumentation. It will make emissions of a range of pollutants from burning sources (biomass & municipal refuse). NEERI is providing additional chemical analyses to the flux measurements and the burning sources. IIT-Rorkee is improving Delhi's emission inventory, taking on board measurements from other partners in the project (UK & Indian), IIT-Kanpur is applying an air chemistry and transport model to link emissions with observations of concentrations and to assess mitigation options. IGDTUW are hosting one of the measurement sites; we have trained IGDTUW staff in advanced measured approaches for aerosol composition.
Impact To date: establishment of measurement sites (in progress).
Start Year 2017
 
Description DelhiFlux joint project activities Delhi 
Organisation Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a Newton project with UK partners funded through NERC and four Indian partners funded through the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The Indian funding only came through recently. CEH is providing the UK leadership of the project and is preparing two major campaigns of direct (flux) measurements of emissions above Delhi. It is running the website for the wider APHH-India programme under which DelhiFlux is funded.
Collaborator Contribution NPL-India has been co-ordinating the setting up of two measurement sites in Delhi as well as importation of instrumentation. It will make emissions of a range of pollutants from burning sources (biomass & municipal refuse). NEERI is providing additional chemical analyses to the flux measurements and the burning sources. IIT-Rorkee is improving Delhi's emission inventory, taking on board measurements from other partners in the project (UK & Indian), IIT-Kanpur is applying an air chemistry and transport model to link emissions with observations of concentrations and to assess mitigation options. IGDTUW are hosting one of the measurement sites; we have trained IGDTUW staff in advanced measured approaches for aerosol composition.
Impact To date: establishment of measurement sites (in progress).
Start Year 2017
 
Description DelhiFlux joint project activities Delhi 
Organisation Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a Newton project with UK partners funded through NERC and four Indian partners funded through the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The Indian funding only came through recently. CEH is providing the UK leadership of the project and is preparing two major campaigns of direct (flux) measurements of emissions above Delhi. It is running the website for the wider APHH-India programme under which DelhiFlux is funded.
Collaborator Contribution NPL-India has been co-ordinating the setting up of two measurement sites in Delhi as well as importation of instrumentation. It will make emissions of a range of pollutants from burning sources (biomass & municipal refuse). NEERI is providing additional chemical analyses to the flux measurements and the burning sources. IIT-Rorkee is improving Delhi's emission inventory, taking on board measurements from other partners in the project (UK & Indian), IIT-Kanpur is applying an air chemistry and transport model to link emissions with observations of concentrations and to assess mitigation options. IGDTUW are hosting one of the measurement sites; we have trained IGDTUW staff in advanced measured approaches for aerosol composition.
Impact To date: establishment of measurement sites (in progress).
Start Year 2017
 
Description DelhiFlux joint project activities Delhi 
Organisation National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, India
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a Newton project with UK partners funded through NERC and four Indian partners funded through the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The Indian funding only came through recently. CEH is providing the UK leadership of the project and is preparing two major campaigns of direct (flux) measurements of emissions above Delhi. It is running the website for the wider APHH-India programme under which DelhiFlux is funded.
Collaborator Contribution NPL-India has been co-ordinating the setting up of two measurement sites in Delhi as well as importation of instrumentation. It will make emissions of a range of pollutants from burning sources (biomass & municipal refuse). NEERI is providing additional chemical analyses to the flux measurements and the burning sources. IIT-Rorkee is improving Delhi's emission inventory, taking on board measurements from other partners in the project (UK & Indian), IIT-Kanpur is applying an air chemistry and transport model to link emissions with observations of concentrations and to assess mitigation options. IGDTUW are hosting one of the measurement sites; we have trained IGDTUW staff in advanced measured approaches for aerosol composition.
Impact To date: establishment of measurement sites (in progress).
Start Year 2017
 
Description APPH-India website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A website was set up for NERC Newton programme Air Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity (APHH-India) as a channel to inform the general public, policy makers and other academics of our research activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.urbanair-india.org/
 
Description Poster Presentation at Royal Society Meeting "Air Quality Past, Present and Future" 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster at international conference:

Aromatic VOC mixing ratios in Delhi, Beijing and London. Acton, W.J.F., Huang, Z., Wang, Z., Wang, X., Zhang, Y., Davison, B., Langford, B., Mullinger, N., Nemitz, E., Fu, P., Hewitt, C.N.; Poster at "Air quality, past, present and future" Scientifc Meeting at the Royal Society, London, 11-12 Nov. 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster at international conference:

Volatile organic compound mixing ratios and fluxes above Beijing and Delhi. W. Joe Acton, Brian Davison, Zhonghui Huang, Zhaoyi Wang, Yanli Zhang, Xinming Wang, Pingqing Fu, Ben Langford, Pawel Misztal, Neil Mullinger, Eiko Nemitz, and Nick Hewitt. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-15012, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster presentation at national conference (Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Chemistry Special Interest Group) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster at national conference:

How do areas of low NOx emission affect the air quality? Drysdale, W.; Nelson, B.; Stewart, G.; Dunmore, R.; Vaughan, A.; Squires, F.; Nemitz, E.; Mullinger, N.; Metzger, S.; Gadi, R.; Purvis, R.; Lee, J. Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Chemistry Special Interest Group (ACSG). Air Pollution in Megacities: Advances in Monitoring and Modelling. University of Leeds, 20-Mar-2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Aerosol volatilisation in the urban surface layer. Eiko Nemitz, Ben Langford, Chiara Di Marco, Neil Mullinger, Nicholas Cowan, Yele Sun, Jian Zhao, and Pingqing Fu. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-11033, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Chemical characterisation of the submicron aerosol composition in Old Delhi. James Cash, Chiara Di Marco, Ben Langford, Neil Mullinger, James Allan, Ernesto Reyes Villegas, Rutambhara Joshi, Mathew Heal, Tuhin Mandal, Shivani Shivani, Ranu Gadi, and Eiko Nemitz. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-17203, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at EGU General Assembly 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Sharing the Delhi Air: How do areas of low NOx emission affect the Air Quality? Will Drysdale, Beth Nelson, Gareth Stewart, Rachel Dunmore, Adam Vaughan, Freya Squires, Eiko Nemitz, Neil Mullinger, Stefan Metzger, Ranu Gadi, Ruth Purvis, and James Lee. Geophs. Res. Abstr. 21, EGU2019-8599, EGU General Assembly, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at European Aerosol Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Concentrations and fluxes of black carbon in Beijing and Old Delhi using single particle soot photometry measurements. Joshi, R., Liu, D., Reyes-Villegas, E., Allan, J., Coe, H., Flylnn, M., Langford, B., Nemitz, E., Mullinger, N., Di Marco, C., Squires, F., Drysdale, W., Lee, J., Vaughan, A., Sun, Y., Kotthaus, S., Shivani, Gadi, R.; Talk O5_F5_A07, European Aerosol Conference, 25-30 Aug 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at European Aerosol Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Source apportionment analysis applied to aerosol eddy-covariance fluxes in Delhi. Di Marco, C.F., Langford, B., Cash, J., Mullinger, N., Helfter, C., Coyle, M., Reyes-Villegas, E., Rutambhara, J., Allan, J., Mandal, T., Gadi, R., Shivani, Soni, V., Nemitz, E. Talk O10_F4_S07, European Aerosol Conference, 25-30 Aug 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at European Aerosol Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at international conference:

Organic aerosol sources at two different sites in Delhi, India 2018. Reyes-Villegas, E., Allan, J., Joshi, R., Panda, U., Cash, J., Darbyshire, E., Langford, B., Di Marco, C.F., Mullinger, N., Gunthe, S.S., Nemitz, E., McFiggans, G., Shivani, Gadi, R., Singh, S., Soni, V.; Talk O2_F4_S05, European Aerosol Conference, 25-30 Aug 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Science Conference ASC2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at national conference:

Aerosol sources in Delhi derived from edd-covariance flux measurements and concentration analysis. Nemitz, E.; Langford, B.; Cash, J.; Di Marco, C.; Mullinger, N.; Allan, J.; Rutambhara, J.; Reyes-Villegas, E.; Heal, M.; Mandal, T.; Gadi, R.; Shivani; Singh, S.; Soni, V.; Royal Meteorological Society Atmospheric Science Conference ASC2019, Birmingham, 2-3 July 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at European Aerosol Conference (EAC2019), 25-30 Aug 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden "Source Apportionment Analysis Applied to Aerosol Eddy-Covariance Fluxes in Delhi" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at the European Aerosol Conference:

[O10_F4_S07] Source Apportionment Analysis Applied to Aerosol Eddy-Covariance Fluxes in Delhi

Chiara Di Marco [UK], Ben Langford [UK], James Cash [UK], Neil Mullinger [UK], Carole Helfter [UK], Mhairi Coyle [UK], Reyes-Villegas Ernesto [UK], Joshi Rutambhara [UK], James Allan [UK], Mandal Tuhin [India], Gadi Ranu [India], Shivani Shivani [India], Soni Vijay [India], Nemitz Eiko [UK]
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at national conference ((Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Chemistry Special Interest Group)) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at national conference:

Direct measurements of pollutant emissions above megacities. Eiko Nemitz. Royal Met Soc Atmospheric Chemistry Special Interest Group (ACSG). Air Pollution in Megacities: Advances in Monitoring and Modelling. University of Leeds, 20-Mar-2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at the Royal Met. Soc. Atmospheric Science Conference "Aerosol sources in Delhi derived from edd-covariance flux measurements and concentration analysis" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A presentation with the title "Aerosol sources in Delhi derived from edd-covariance flux measurements and concentration analysis" was given at the Atmospheric Sciences Conference ASC2019 2-3 July in Birmingham, organised jointly by NCAS and the Royal Met Soc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Training visit for NPL-India Student cohort 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A group of 25 postgraduate students affiliated with the National Physics Laboratory India, New Delhi, visited our fieldsite at the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW), were we operated an intensive field campaign to measure concentrations and fluxes above Delhi, including a 30 m purpose built tower. For 1/2 day, the students were shown and instructed in our measurement approaches.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018