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On-road air quality along urban and sub-urban routes in Pokhara and Kathmandu, Nepal
Rashmi Maharjan, Wing Tat Hung

Last modified: 2017-08-24

Abstract


In recent years, Nepal is being recognized as a country with poorer air quality which arises discussion among government and public. But, Nepal still lacks enough data and information for having a clear view on air quality. In this study, on-road air quality along urban and suburban routes in Kathmandu and Pokhara cities were measured using portable air quality monitors on a motorcycle from March-April 2016. PM2.5, NO2 and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) were measured continuously along the routes while VOC samples were collected using portable canisters and were further analyzed with a GCMS. The monitoring was conducted on weekdays during peak and non-peak hours. The mean PM2.5 concentrations of all routes were 56-80% higher than the 24hr WHO guideline value while the NO2 concentration was below the 1hr WHO guideline value. The mean concentrations of PM2.5, NO2 and TVOC were highest in the Kathmandu urban route followed by the Pokhara urban route, Kathmandu sub-urban route and Pokhara suburban route respectively. Extremes values were observed during the episodic emission from vehicles and during traffic jams. Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and o-Xylene (BTEX) compounds were dominated VOC species in all routes. The Toluene to Benzene ratio was within 2.0-3.3. The significant positive correlation was observed among the pollutants as well as between PM2.5 and speed of the vehicle.

 


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