Abundance and distribution of gaseous ammonia and particulate ammonium at Delhi, India

Singh, S.; Kulshrestha, U. C.

This study reports abundance and distribution of gaseous NH 3 and particulate NH 4+ at Delhi. Gaseous NH 3 and particulate NH 4+ concentrations were measured during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons of the years 2010 and 2011. Average concentrations of gaseous NH 3 during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons were recorded as 26.4, 33.2 and 32.5 μg m −3, respectively. Gaseous NH 3 concentrations were the highest during monsoon, thought to be due to decay and decomposition of plants and other biogenic material under wet conditions, leading to increased NH 3 emission. The results showed that particulate NH 4+ was always lower than the gaseous NH 3 during all the seasons. The concentrations of particulate NH 4+ were recorded as 11.6, 22.9 and 8.5 μg m −3 during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. The percent fraction of particulate NH 4+ was noticed to be highest during the monsoon season, which is attributed to increased humidity levels favouring partitioning into the aerosol phase. On an average, 33.3% of total N-NH x was present as particulate NH 4+. Higher concentrations of NH 3 noticed during night time may be due to stable atmospheric conditions. The study highlighted that, as compared with rural sites, urban sites showed higher concentrations of gaseous NH 3 in India, which may be due to higher population density, human activities and poor sanitation arrangements.

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Singh, S. / Kulshrestha, U. C.: Abundance and distribution of gaseous ammonia and particulate ammonium at Delhi, India. 2012. Copernicus Publications.

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