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More than firecrackers, biomass burning made air poor after Diwali: IIT-Delhi study

The study titled ‘Chemical Speciation and Source Apportionment of Ambient PM2.5 in New Delhi Before, During, and After the Diwali Fireworks’ was published in the journal ‘Atmospheric Pollution Research’.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 26, 2022 2:18:47 am
delhi aqiAccording to a statement by the institute, researchers found that the metal content in PM2.5 levels rose by 1,100% during Diwali, and that fireworks alone accounted for 95% of the metal, but the impact of fireworks plummetted in around 12 hours. (Express File/Gajendra Yadav)

A study led by researchers from IIT-Delhi has concluded that biomass burning emissions, rather than fireworks, drive the poor air quality in the national capital during the days following Diwali.

The study titled ‘Chemical Speciation and Source Apportionment of Ambient PM2.5 in New Delhi Before, During, and
After the Diwali Fireworks’ was published in the journal ‘Atmospheric Pollution Research’.

It was partly funded by IIT-Delhi and the Ministry of Education, and was conducted as a part of a collaboration between IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur and PRL Ahmedabad.

According to a statement by the institute, researchers found that the metal content in PM2.5 levels rose by 1,100% during Diwali, and that fireworks alone accounted for 95% of the metal, but the impact of fireworks plummetted in around 12 hours.

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“The researchers have found that biomass burning-related emissions rise steeply in the days following Diwali, with average levels almost rising by order of around 2 compared to the pre-Diwali concentration. Also, the source apportionment results pertaining to the organic PM2.5 indicate a significant rise in both primary and secondary organic pollutants in the days following Diwali, suggesting the role of biomass-burning related emissions in the increase of primary organic emissions, and in turn, their aged products following the Diwali festival,” read a statement from IIT Delhi.

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