Road transport impact on PM2.5 pollution over Delhi during the post-monsoon season

Caterina Mogno, Paul I. Palmer, Margaret R. Marvin, Sumit Sharma, Ying Chen, Oliver Wild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We use the WRF-Chem atmospheric chemical transport model, driven by local emission inventories, to quantify the contribution of on-road transport emissions to surface PM2.5 over Delhi during the post-monsoon season. We compare this contribution to other local (within Delhi) and regional (within the broader National Capital Region, NCR) anthropogenic sectors during the post-monsoon period when seasonal burning and stagnating meteorological conditions exacerbate baseline pollution levels. We find that local on-road transport contributes approximately 10% to daily mean PM2.5 over Delhi, rising to 17% if regional on-road transport sources in the NCR are included. The largest individual contributions to Delhi daily mean PM2.5 are from regional power and industry (14%) and domestic (11%) sectors, dominating nighttime and almost all daytime concentrations. Long range transport contribution from sources beyond the NCR is found to account for approximately 40%. The contribution from the local on-road transport sector to diurnal mean PM2.5 is largest (18%) during the evening traffic peak. It is dominated by contributions from two- and three-wheelers (50%) followed by heavy-duty vehicles (30%), which also collectively represent 60–70% of the total on-road transport sector at any hour of the day. The combined contribution from passenger cars and light duty vehicles and from resuspended road dust to daily mean PM2.5 is small (20%). Our work highlights two important factors which need to be considered in developing effective policies to meet PM2.5 air quality standards in Delhi during post-monsoon. First, a multi-sector and multi-scale approach is needed, which prioritise the reduction in local transport emissions within Delhi, and, in the order, regional industries, domestic and transport emissions from NCR. Second, two-and three-wheelers and heavy-duty vehicles dominate on-road transport impact to PM2.5, thus reductions from these vehicles should be given priority, both within Delhi and in the NCR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100200
JournalAtmospheric Environment: X
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


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