Air Quality Deterioration in a Pristine Area due to a Petroleum Refinery and Associated Activities

  • Handique, Devolakshi (Department of Chemistry, Gauhati University) ;
  • Bhattacharyya, Krishna G. (Department of Chemistry, Gauhati University)
  • Received : 2017.04.23
  • Accepted : 2017.08.10
  • Published : 2017.12.31


The work describes an assessment of the major air pollutants, $NO_2$, $SO_2$, CO, $O_3$, $NH_3$, coarse and fine particulate matter ($PM_{10}$, $PM_{2.5}$) in ambient air in and around a 3 million tonne Petroleum Refinery and the possible impacts on a pristine area marked by the presence of the world-famous Kajiranga National Park, a world heritage site and habitat for the most number of one-horned rhinos in the world. The Refinery is at an aerial distance of 20-25 km from the wildlife habitat. The assessment is based on regular monitoring at four stations around the Refinery and one station near the National Park. Heavy rains during June to August influence the pollutant concentrations while at other times of the year, large traffic volume adds to the pollutant concentrations that peak during November to March, the dry months of the year. Correlation analysis by scatter technique is utilised to obtain the enhancement ratios to predict the variations in the concentrations of the pollutants and their spatial distribution. Computation of air quality index (AQI) indicates that the coarse and the fine particulates in the ambient air could be a major hazard to wildlife in the area.



  1. Ahmed, E., Kim, K.H., Kim, J., Park, J.K., Chambers, S., Feng, X., Sohn, J.R., Jeon, E.C. (2016) Pollution of airborne metallic species in Seoul, Korea from 1998 to 2010. Atmospheric Environment 124, 85-94.
  2. Akimoto, H. (2003) Global Air Quality and Pollution. Science 302, 1716-1719.
  3. Akyuz, M., Cabuk, H. (2009) Meteorological variations of $PM_{2.5}$/$PM_{10}$ concentrations and particle-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the atmospheric environment of Zonguldak Turkey. Journal of Hazardous Materials 170(1), 13-21.
  4. Badarinath, K.V.S., Kharol, S.K., Reddy, R.R., Rama Gopal, K., Narasimhalu, K., Siva Sankara Reddy, L., Raghavendra, K.K. (2009) Black carbon aerosol mass concentration variation in urban and rural environments of India: a case study. Atmospheric Science Letters 10, 29-33.
  5. Bishoi, B., Prakash, A., Jain, V.K. (2009) A Comparative Study of Air Quality Index Based on Factor Analysis and US-EPA Methods for an Urban Environment. Aerosol and Air Quality Research 9, 1-17.
  6. Buchholz, R.R., Paton-Walsh, C., Griffith, D.W.T., Kubistin, D., Caldow, C., Fisher, J., Deutscher, N.M., Kettlewell, G., Riggenbach, M., Macatangay, R., Krummel, P.B., Langenfelds, R.L. (2016) Source and meteorological influences on air quality (CO, $CH_4$ & $CO_2$) at a Southern Hemisphere urban site. Atmospheric Environment 126, 274-289.
  7. Cardelino, C.A., Hameides, W.L. (1990) Natural hydrocarbons, urbanization, and urban zone. Journal of Geophysical Research 95(D9), 13971-13979.
  8. Cetin, S., Karademir, A., Pekey, B., Ayberk, S. (2007) Inventory of Emissions of Primary Air Pollutants in the City of Kocaeli, Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 128, 165.
  9. Chaloulakou, A., Kassomenos, P., Spyrellis, N., Demokritou, P., Koutrakis, P. (2003) Measurements of $PM_{10}$ and $PM_{2.5}$ particle concentrations in Athens, Greece. Atmospheric Environment 37, 649-660.
  10. Chan, C.K., Yao, X. (2008) Air pollution in mega cities in China. Atmospheric Environment 42, 1-42.
  11. Chattopadhyay, S., Gupta, S., Saha, R.N. (2010) Spatial and Temporal Variation of Urban Air Quality: A GIS Approach. Journal of Environmental Protection 1, 264-277.
  12. Cheng, S.Y., Lang, J.L., Zhou, Y., Han, L.H., Wang, G., Chen, D.S. (2013) A New Monitoring-Simulation-Source Apportionment Approach for Investigating the Vehicular Emission Contribution to the $PM_{2.5}$ Pollution in Beijing, China. Atmospheric Environment 79, 308-316.
  13. Cheng, Y., He, K.B., Du, Z.Y., Zheng, M., Duan, F.K., Ma, Y.L. (2015) Humidity Plays an Important Role in the $PM_{2.5}$ Pollution in Beijing. Environmental Pollution 197, 68-75.
  14. Chou, C.C.K., Tsai, C.Y., Chang, C.C., Lin, P.H., Liu, S.C., Zhu, T. (2011) Photochemical Production of Ozone in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11, 9825-9837.
  15. Cohen, A.J., Anderson, H.R., Ostro, B., Pandey, K.D., Krzyzanowski, M., Künzli, N., Gutschmidt, K., Pope, C.A.L., Romieu, I., Samet, J.M., Smith, K.R. (2004) Urban air pollution. In: Ezzati, L.A.M., Rodgers, A., Murray, C.J.L. (eds.), Comparative quantification of health risks: global and regional burden of disease attributable to selected major risk factors, Vol 2. World Health Organization, Geneva, pp. 1153-1433.
  16. CPCB Guidelines for Ambient Air Quality Monitoring. Report under Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, 2009.
  17. Das, M., Maiti, S.K., Mukhopadhyay, U. (2006) Distribution of $PM_{2.5}$ and $PM_{10-2.5}$ in $PM_{10}$ fractions in ambient air due to vehicular pollution in Kolkata megacity. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 122, 111-123.
  18. Delgado, J.M. (2004) Validation and implementation of passive samplers to assess levels and effects of tropospheric ozone and nitrogen dioxide in a Mediterranean coastal area (in Spanish), PhD Thesis, Espana.
  19. Deshmukh, D.K., Deb, M.K., Tsai, Y.I., Mkoma, S.L. (2010) Atmospheric ionic species in $PM_{2.5}$ and $PM_{10}$ aerosols in the ambient air of eastern central India. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry 66, 81-100.
  20. Deshmukh, D.K., Deb, M.K., Verma, S.K. (2010) Distribution patterns of coarse, fine and ultrafine atmospheric aerosol particulate matters in major cities of Chhattisgarh. Indian Journal of Environmental Protection 30, 184-197.
  21. Duncan, B.N., Logan, J.A., Bey, I., Megretskaia, I.A., Yantosca, R.M., Novelli, P.C., Jones, N.B., Rinsland, C.P. (2007) Global budget of CO, 1988-1997: Source estimates and validation with a global model. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, D22301.
  22. Edwards, D.P., Emmons, L.K., Gille, J.C., Chu, A., Attie, J.L., Giglio, L., Wood, S.W., Haywood, J., Deeter, M.N., Massie, S.T., Ziskin, D.C., Drummond, J.R. (2006) Satellite observed pollution from southern hemisphere biomass burning. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 111(D14), D14312.
  23. Edwards, D.P., Petron, G., Novelli, P.C., Emmons, L.K., Gille, J.C., Drummond, J.R. (2006) Southern Hemisphere carbon monoxide inter-annual variability observed by terra measurement of pollution in the troposphere (MOPITT). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 111(D16), D1630.
  24. Escobedo, F.J., Wagner, J.E., Nowak, D., De La Maza, C.L., Rodriguez, M., Crane, D.E. (2008) Analyzing the cost effectiveness of Santiago, Chile’s policy of using urban forests to improve air quality. Journal of Environmental Management 86, 148-157.
  25. Fishman, J., Seiler, W. (1983) Correlative nature of ozone and carbon-monoxide in the troposphere e implications for the tropospheric ozone budget. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 88, 3662-3670.
  26. Gaffney, S.H., Panko, J.M., Unice, K.M., Burns, A.M., Kreider, M.L., Gelatt, R.H., Booher, L.E., Paustenbach, D.J. (2009) Occupational exposure to benzene at the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, TX (1978-2006). Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiolog 10, 1038.
  27. Gu, B., Ju, X., Chang, J., Ge, Y., Vitousek, P.M. (2015) Integrated reactive nitrogen budgets and future trends in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, 8792-8797.
  28. He, K.B., Yang, F.M., Duan, F.K., Ma, Y.L. (2011) Atmospheric Particles and Regional Combined Pollution, Science Press, Beijing.
  29. Heal, K., Kemp, T. (2013) North West Sturgeon Refinery Project Overview - Carbon Capture Through Innovative Commercial Structuring in the Canadian Oil Sands. Energy Procedia 37, 7046-7055.
  30. Huang, R., Zhang, Y., Bozzetti, C., Ho, K., Cao, J., Han, Y., Daellenbach, K.R., Slowik, J.G., Platt, S.M., Canonaco, F., Zotter, P., Wolf, R., Pieber, S.M., Bruns, E.A., Crippa, M., Ciarelli, G., Piazzalunga, A., Schwikowski, M., Abbaszade, G., Schnelle-Kreis, J., Zimmermann, R., An, Z., Szidat, S., Baltensperger, U., Haddad, I.E., Prevot, A.S.H. (2014) High secondary aerosol contribution to particulate pollution during haze events in China. Nature 7521, 218-222.
  31. Huang, X., Song, Y., Li, M., Li, J., Huo, Q., Cai, X., Zhu, T., Hu, M., Zhang, H. (2012) A high-resolution ammonia emission inventory in China. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 26, GB1030.
  32. Irga, P.J., Burchett, M.D., Torpy, F.R. (2015) Does urban forestry have a quantitative effect on ambient air quality in an urban environment. Atmospheric Environment 120, 173-181.
  33. Isaksen, I.S.A., Granier, C., Myhre, G., Berntsen, T.K., Dalsoren, S.B., Gauss, M., Klimont, Z. (2009) Atmospheric Composition Change: Climate-Chemistry Interactions. Atmospheric Environment 43, 5138.
  34. Jaramillo, P., Muller, N.Z. (2016) Air pollution emissions and damages from energy production in the U.S.: 2002-2011. Energy Policy 90, 202.
  35. Kampa, M., Castanas, E. (2008) Human Health Effects of Air Pollution. Environmental Pollution 151, 362-367.
  36. Karar, K., Gupta, A.K. (2006) Seasonal variations and chemical characterization of ambient $PM_{10}$ at residential and industrial sites of an urban region of Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Atmospheric Research 81, 36-53.
  37. Khodeir, M.I. (2009) Diurnal, Seasonal and Weekdays Weekends Variations of Ground Level Ozone Concentrations in an Urban Area in Greater Cairo. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 149, 349-362.
  38. Kothai, P., Saradhi, I.V., Pratibha, P., Hopke, P.K., Pandit, G.G., Puranik, V.D. (2008) Source apportionment of coarse and fine particulate matter at Navi Mumbai, India. Aerosol and Air Quality Research 8, 423-436.
  39. Kulshrestha, A., Bisht, D.S., Masih, J., Massey, D., Tiwari, S., Taneja, A. (2009) Chemical characterization of water-soluble aerosols in different residential environments of semi arid region of India. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry 62, 121-138.
  40. Li, L., Kumar, M., Zhu, C., Zhong, J., Francisco, J.S., Zeng, X.C. (2016) Near-barrierless ammonium bisulfate formation via a loop-structure promoted proton-transfer mechanism on the surface of water. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, 1816-1819.
  41. Logan, J.A., Prather, M.J., Wofsy, S.C., McElroy, M.B. (1981) Tropospheric chemistry: a global perspective. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 86, 7210-7254.
  42. Magiera, T., Jablonska, M., Strzyszcz, Z., Rachwal, M. (2011) Morphological and mineralogical forms of technogenic magnetic particles in industrial dusts. Atmospheric Environment 45, 4281-4290.
  43. Mauli, P.C., Mohan, S.V., Reddy, J. (2006) Chemical composition of atmospheric aerosols ($PM_{10}$) at a semi-arid urban site: influence of terrestrial sources. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 117, 291-305.
  44. McConnell, R., Berhane, K., Yao, L., Lurmann, F.W., Avol, E., Peters, J.M. (2006) Predicting Residental Ozone Deficits from Nearby Traffic. Science of The Total Environment 363, 166.
  45. McGill, R., Tukey, J.W., Larsen, W.A. (1978) Variations of Box Plots. The American Statistician 32, 12.
  46. Mehta, S., Shin, H., Burnett, R., North, T., Cohen, A.J. (2013) Ambient particulate air pollution and acute lower respiratory infections: a systematic review and implications for estimating the global burden of disease. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health 6, 69-83.
  47. Mohan, M., Kandya, A. (2007) An analysis of the annual and seasonal trends of air quality index of Delhi. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 131, 267-277.
  48. Nishanth, T., Praseed, K.M., Satheesh, K., Vaisaraj, K.T. (2012) Analysis of Ground Level of $O_3$ and $NO_x$ Measured at Kannur, India. Journal of Earth Science and Climatic Change 3, 1-13.
  49. OECD (2008) OECD environmental performance reviews: Turkey 2008, OECD Publishing (OECD), Paris, France.
  50. Ooka, R., Khiem, M., Hayami, H., Yoshikado, H., Huang, H., Kawamoto, Y. (2011) Influence of Meteorological Conditions on Summer Ozone Levels in Central Kanto Area of Japan. Procedia Environmental Sciences 4, 138.
  51. Palmgren, F., Waahlin, P., Kildeso, J., Afshari, A., Fogh, C.L. (2003) Characterisation of particle emissions from the driving car fleet and the contribution to ambient and indoor particle concentrations. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 28(8), 327-334.
  52. Parrish, D.D., Holloway, J.S., Jakoubek, R., Trainer, M., Ryerson, T.B., Hübler, G., Fehsenfeld, F.C., Moody, J.L., Cooper, O.R. (2000) Mixing of anthropogenic pollution with stratospheric ozone: a case study from the North Atlantic wintertime troposphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheric 105, 24363.
  53. Parrish, D.D., Holloway, J.S., Trainer, M., Murphy, P.C., Fehsenfeld, F.C., Forbes, G.L. (1993) Export of north American ozone pollution to the north Atlantic ocean. Science 259, 1436-1439.
  54. Pudasainee, D., Sapkotab, B., Shresthac, M., Kagac, A., Kondoc, A., Inoue, Y. (2006) Ground Level Ozone Concentrations and Its Association with $NO_x$ and Meteorological Parameters in Kathmandu valley, Nepal. Atmospheric Environment 40, 8081-8087.
  55. Ramachandran, S., Kedia, S. (2010) Black carbon aerosols over an urban region: radiative forcing and climate impact. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheric doi:10.1029/2009JD013560.
  56. Roberts-Semple, D., Song, F., Gao, Y. (2012) Seasonal Characteristics of Ambient Nitrogen Oxides and Ground Level Ozone in Metropolitan Northeastern New Jersey. Atmospheric Pollution Research 3, 247-257.
  57. Shtripling, L.O., Bazhenov, V.V. (2015) Emission process system organisation of pollutants into the atmosphere for refinery enterprises. Procedia Engineering 113, 349-356.
  58. Tang, Q., Lei, Y., Chen, X., Xue, W. (2017) Air Quality Improvement Scenario for China during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period. Asian Journal of Atmospheric Environment 11(1), 33-36.
  59. Tang, T., Zhang, X.Y., Shao, M. (2006) Atmospheric Environmental Chemistry. Higher Education Press, Beijing.
  60. Tian, G., Qiao, Z., Xu, X. (2014) Characteristics of particulate matter ($PM_{10}$) and its relationship with meteorological factors during 2001-2012 in Beijing. Environmental Pollution 192, 266-274.
  61. Tiwari, S., Pandithurai, G., Attri, S.D., Srivastava, A.K., Soni, V.K., Bisht, D.S., Kumar, V.A., Srivastava, M.K. (2015) Aerosol Optical Properties and Their Relationship with Meteorological Parameters during Wintertime in Delhi, India. Atmospheric Research 153, 465-479.
  62. Tiwari, S., Srivastava, A.K., Bisht, D.S., Bano, T., Singh, S., Behura, S., Srivastava, M.K., Chate, D.M., Padmanabhamurty, B. (2009) Black carbon and chemical characteristics of $PM_{10}$ and $PM_{2.5}$ at an urban site of North India. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry 62, 193-209.
  63. Tomasevic, M., Anicic, M. (2010) Trace element content in urban tree leaves and SEM-EDAX characterisation of deposited particles. Physics, Chemistry and Technology 8(1), 1-13.
  64. UNEP (2011) Integrated assessment of black carbon and tropospheric ozone. Summary for decision makers. Nairobi, United Nations Environment Programme.
  65. van Wijngaarden, E., Stewart, P.A. (2003) Critical literature review of determinants and levels of occupational benzene exposure for the United States community based case-control studies. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 18, 678-693.
  66. Venturini, N., Tommasi, L.R. (2004) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and changes in the trophic structure of polychaete assemblages in sediments of Todos os Santos Bay, Northeastern, Brazil. Marine Pollution Bulletin 48, 97-107.
  67. Zhou, Y., Cheng, S., Chen, D., Lang, J., Wang, G., Xu, T., Wang, X., Yao, S. (2015) Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Ambient Air Quality in Beijing, China. Aerosol and Air Quality Research 15, 1868-1880.
  68. Zhu, Y., Sabaliauskas, K., Liu, X., Meng, H., Gao, H., Jeong, C.H., Evans, G.J., Yao, X. (2014) Comparative analysis of new particle formation events in less and severely polluted urban atmosphere. Atmospheric Environment 98, 655-664.