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Ambient air quality monitoring

The main objective of ambient air quality monitoring is

to provide knowledge about the extent of pollution
present against the standard laid down and take
effective step to control the abnormal level of Air
pollutant present in the ambient air.

Objective :
a) Determining the extent of pollutant and their impact
on human life, animal life and plants and property.
b) Trend study to identify the future problem and
impact of control measure.
c) Pollution source identification and remedial

d) Planning for priorities for environmental

management by industries , government and urban

e) Provide baseline information for urban and

industrial development project and predict the
impact of this project. This is a part of EIA study and
clearance for the project by MoEF.

Selection of sampling station for ambient air quality

a) Station based on predicted maximum concentration
location of pollutant emanating for the emission
b) Down wind location of sensitive areas like schools
and hospitals.
C) Populated area
e) High rise building and other obstruction to
dispersion to be outside 120 o angle of outsight of the

f) Sampling station has to be always down wind

preferably mid way of the wind trace angle.
g) Height of sampling point to be preferably the
breathing height..

Net work and number of station:

i) Representative maximum concentration location as
describe above.
Ii) Representative Residential area
iii) Representative sensitive area
iv) Representative historical monuments
v) Industrial area

Sampling Instrument
1. High Volume Sampler : Suspended particulate matter
2. Respirable Particulate matter sampler : Respirable
particulate matter ( Size less then 10 micron)
3. Non Dispersive Infrared Spectroscopy ( NDIR) :
Carbon Monoxide
4. ASS( Atomic absorption spectrophometery ): Lead
5. Chemiluminescence : NOx
6. Ultraviolet Fluorescence : SO2

7. Fine Particulate Sampler Monitoring of PM

8. Handy Sampler and Personal Sampler for aerosoles and
gaseous pollutant
9. Organic Vapour Sampler : for organic vapour and CO
10. Stack Sampler : For monitoring particulate and gaseous
pollutant in industrial stack emission
11. Micro Meteoro Monitor : for monitoring wind speed, wind
direction, turbulence, temperature, relative humidity and

1. High Volume Sampler :

High volume sampler are the basic instrument used to
monitor Ambient Air Quality. They are in wide spread use all
over the world to measure dust pollution in industrial,
residential, as well as in sensitive area.
In these sampler air borne suspended dust is measured by
passing air at high flow rate of 1.1 to 1.7 m 3 / min through
high efficiency filter paper which retain the dust particles.
Amount of particulates collected on the filter paper is
determined by measuring the change in weight of the filter
In HVS provision have been made for simultaneous

Respirable Particulate matter sampler

In India respirable dust has been included in the national
ambient sir quality standard since April 1994.
Principle Operation
Ambient air ladden with suspended particulate enters the
system through the inlet pipe.
1) As the air pass through the cyclone , coarse, non
respirable dust is separated from the air stream by
centrifugal forces acting on the solid particles . These
separated particles falls through the cyclones conical
2) and collect in the sampling bottle placed at it bottom.

5) Respirable dust is retained by filter and the carried air

exhausted from the system through the blower .
and is carried by the air stream to the Filter Paper.
Flow Rate : 0.9 1.4 m3/min. ( Free flow condition
without filter)
Particle Size
: A cyclone is used for fractionating the dust into two
fraction. D-50 for the cyclone is at 10 microns. Particulate
matter is accumulated on the filter paper while coarse
dust is collected in a cup placed under the cyclone.
Recommended Filter : Whatman GF/ A for common and
Wahtmans type No. EPM 2000 for special research.
Sampling Time : 28 hours (maximum)

Thermo Electrically Cooled Gaseous Attachment :

Monitoring of gaseous pollutants in ambient air using wet
chemical methods is carried out by passing air at known
flow rate through absorbing reagents kept in midjet

3. Non Dispersive Infrared Spectrometry

It is based on the principle that each gas absorbed
particular band of infrared radiation.
When IR is led through a cell containing CO , part of
energy radiation is absorbed by CO which can be corelated with the concentration of CO
To detect the pollution, gas is kept in sample cell and
reference cell and light is passes through both cell.
There occur a pressure difference between two halve due
to different intensity of incident solar radiation.
The pressure differences proportional to pollutant CO. If
the pressure difference is more the concentration of CO
will be more.

Atomic Absorption Spectrometry

It is based on the measurement of decreased in light
intensity from a source (Hollow cathode lamp) when it
pass through a vapour layer of atom of the analytic
The hollow cathode lamp produce intense electromagnetic
radiation with a wavelength exactly the same absorbed by
the atom.

X- Ray Fluorescence
It is based on the principle that when sample is
bombarded with X rays , Y (gamma) rays or proton, it
give rise to a secondary radiation as electron drop into
vacant position in inner orbit.
The emitted X rays have the characteristics of
particular atom.
The energy (wavelength) emitted give qualitative
analysis of element while intensity yield quantitative

It is based on the principle that when NO react with ozone,
NO2 is formed .
When NO react with O3 NO2 is formed which remain in
excited state and after completing reaction NO2 come down
in ground state.
During coming down in ground state it emit (0.6 0.3 micro
meter ) wavelenght band ( 3000 6000 nm)
By measuring the intensity of emitted light the amount of
NOx can be measured.
NO + O3 ------------ NO2 +
NO2 + ---------------------- NO2 + hv

Flame Ionization Detector

It is based on the principle that mixture of H2 & air does
not burn without ionization.
If hydrocarbon is used in very less quantity then ions are
produced .
Number of ions produced are the proportional to the
amount of hydrocarbon.

Stack Sampler
Monitoring of stack and vent emission now becoming a
routine requirement not only for large but even in medium
and small industrial units.
There has been growing realization that gaseous
pollutants , chemical fumes and fine mist are hazardous
as particulate ashes and dust.
In stack sampler VSSI simultaneous sampling for PM and
gaseous pollutant can be carried out to save and efforts
and time.

Principle of Operation
Flue gas enter the system through the nozzle at the tip of sampling
probe pass through the filter thimble , where particulate matter is
removed and reach the sampling panel.
Here the gas stream is split into two sections.
One section passes at low flow rate (0.5 0.3 LPM) through a train of
impingers loaded with suitable reagent to absorb gaseous pollutants,
relevant to the emission source while the reaming gas stream bubbles
through a distilled water impinger followed by silica gel.
On passing through the cold box section, the flue gases cool down,
releasing any moisture or condensable present and scrubbed for
corrosive or toxicant fraction.
Relatively clean gas pass through the flow meter and dry gas meter
so that the volume of flue gas sampled is measured and are
subsequently exhausted into the atmosphere through the vacuum