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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014, Article ID 179301, 10 pages
Research Article

Black Carbon and Elemental Carbon from Postharvest Agricultural-Waste Burning Emissions in the Indo-Gangetic Plain

1Department of Physics, Punjabi University, Patiala 147 002, India
2Geosciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380 009, India

Received 21 March 2013; Revised 10 June 2013; Accepted 8 January 2014; Published 26 February 2014

Academic Editor: Lucas Alados-Arboledas

Copyright © 2014 Atinderpal Singh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We compare the mass concentrations of black carbon (BC) and elemental carbon (EC) from different emissions in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), using optical (Aethalometer; 880 nm) and thermooptical technique (EC-OC analyzer; 678 nm), respectively. The fractional contribution of BC mass concentration measured at two different channels (370 and 880 nm), OC/EC ratio, and non-sea-salt K+/EC ratios have been systematically monitored for representing the source characteristics of BC and EC in this study. The mass concentrations of BC varied from 8.5 to 19.6, 2.4 to 18.2, and 2.2 to 9.4 μg m−3 during October-November (paddy-residue burning emission), December–March (emission from bio- and fossil-fuel combustion) and April-May (wheat-residue burning emission), respectively. In contrast, the mass concentrations of EC varied from 3.8 to 17.5, 2.3 to 8.9, and 2.0 to 8.8 μg m−3 during these emissions, respectively. The BC/EC ratios conspicuously greater than 1.0 have been observed during paddy-residue burning emissions associated with high mass concentrations of EC, OC, and OC/EC ratio. The Ångström exponent () derived from Aethalometer data is approximately 1.5 for the postharvest agricultural-waste burning emissions, hitherto unknown for the IGP. The mass absorption efficiency (MAE) of BC and EC centers at ~1–4 m2 g−1 and 2-3 m2 g−1 during the entire study period in the IGP.