SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, Vol 6, NO 2 (2012)

PM10 Levels and Hotspots in Western Thailand in Agro-Residue Burning Season

Aungsiri Tipayarom




Abstract


Open burning of agro-residues normally generates a large amount of pollutants which may result in potential impacts on the ambient air quality and public health. A study of a correlation between PM10 levels in ambient air and hotspot counts in Western Thailand was conducted to investigate whether the air quality of Nakhon Pathom Province was influenced by the emission from agro-residue burning. Two high Volume Samplers for PM10 sampling were installed in Silpakorn University to obtain the representative PM10 levels in Nakhon Pathom province. The number of hotspots, as the fingerprints of open burnings, was provided by the NASA’s Earth Observatory website. The hotspot counting was divided into 2 parts; (i) 5-year backward counting in the province to investigate the burning season, and (ii) counting in Nakhon Pathom province and upwind-adjacent provinces including Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Pathumthani, Pranakorn Sriayudhaya and Suphanburi in a burning season. Wind directions to the sampling locations were obtained from a HYSPLIT Model. Average PM10 levels found in this study was 88±34 µg/m3, which does not exceed Thailand Air Quality Standard of 120 µg/m3. The positive correlation between PM10 levels and hotspot counts was found at R2=+0.81. This study indicated that air quality in Nakhon Pathom Province was affected by emissions from agro-residue burning.

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