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4 (1) : 19-24, 2010 N AMBIENT AIR QUALITY IN OPENCAST COAL MINING AREAS OF BANKOLA AREA (UNDER EASTERN COAL

FIELD LTD.) OF ASANSOL-RANIGANJ REGIONS


Save Nature to Survive

QUARTERLY

SABYASACHI MUKHOPADHYAY, SANDIPAN PAL, ALOKE K MUKHERJEE AND APURBA RATAN GHOSH* Department of Environmental Science, The University of Burdwan, Burdwan 713 104, WB (INDIA) E-mail: ar_ghosh@yahoo.co.in ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION
Opencast mining operations contribute the major air pollutants to the atmosphere and are responsible for environmental degradation by deteriorating the air quality in respect to dust and other gaseous pollutants. The phenomenal increase in coal production from opencast mines brings forth India as a third major producer (Chaulya and Chakrabarty, 1995). The bulk of the coal reserves are restricted to the south eastern quadrant of the Country in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chattisgarh states. The excavator, loader, dumper, conveyer belt etc., and the remover of overburden are the causative agents of discharging massive amount of fine dust particles in the air (Yocom, 1976; Ghosh and Majee, 2000). The magnitude and significance of mining pollution depends on mineral type, method applied, scale and concentration of mining, geological and geomorphological features of the area. During combustion of coal as fuel it gives off CO2; burning of coal also produces emissions such as sulfur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and lead particles. The oxides of sulfur (SOx) occur in ambient air as a specific pollutant particularly in the form of sulfur dioxide (95%) and sulfur trioxide (5%). The nitrogen oxides exist in ambient air in various forms viz., nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen trioxide (NO3), nitrogen tetraoxide (N2O4) and nitrogen pentaoxide (N2O5). Only nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide exists freely in air and are the important primary air pollutants in mining area. Generally, the atmospheric concentration of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide are clubbed together and called as oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The nitric oxide in ambient environment is less stable and rapidly gets converted to nitrogen dioxide. According to Zeller et al., (1979) the normal operations in opencast mining like removal of top soil, excavation, size reduction, water removal, transportation, loading, stock-piling etc., generate and emit particulate matter. Due to increasing activities in opencast coal mining and its significant modernization the ambient air quality of the surrounding areas become seriously affected as it contains huge amount of fine dust and different gaseous pollutants. Sinha and Banerjee (1997) reported that major air pollutants produced by opencast mining are SPM and RSPM. Study of air quality parameters are considered as the important factors in the mining areas (Viohl and Kenneth, 1974) particularly for opencast coal mining where the generation of air pollutants is excessive in comparison to underground coal mining which is considered as less detrimental to environmental damage. Although coal mining is one of the major industries in India and plays positive role in the economic progress of the country but its environmental impact cannot be ignored (Tichy, 1996; Corti and Senatore, 2000). Most major mining activities contribute directly or indirectly air pollution (Kumar et al., 1994). Different authors studied the reduction of air quality as well as effects on flora and fauna in and around mining areas (Chaudhari and Gajghate, 2000; Crabbe et al., 2000; Wheeler et al., 2000; Nanda and Tiwary, 2001). 19
The major air pollutants in the opencast coal mining areas are dust and fine coal particles, oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulphur. The phenomenal increase in opencast mining to cater the need of the energy demand is the root cause of environmental degradation in and around Asansol-Raniganj Coalfield areas, commonly called RCF regions. RCF area is considered as one of the coking coal reserves in India extending up to a depth of about 600 m. The air quality monitoring was carried out for three seasons winter, summer, and rainy for consecutive two years (2006 07 and 2007 08) in the RCF area to identify the major sources and subsequently monitoring these emissions to get an idea about the quantum of pollution load in that area. Here ambient air monitoring stations in RCF area were identified as per recommendations of SPCB encompassing operation zone, residential area and commercial zones. It is revealed that even the average concentrations of SPM, NOx, and SOx were in highest level in all sampling sites as observed during winter followed by summer and the rainy season. It is also observed that out of four sampling sites, the SPM concentration was highest at Shankarpur Area Office and the minimum value was at Bankola ECL Colony, during winter. The concentration of NO x was maximum during winter at Bankola Area Colony and lowest value was at Nabagram Gram Panchayet Office during rainy season. Shankarpur Area Office shows the maximum level of Sox in winter and maximum at Bankola Area Colony during rainy season.

KEY WORDS
Air Quality, Monitoring Bankola Opencast coal mine Asansol-Raniganj regions

Received : Revised : Accepted :

12.10.2009 21.12.2009 19.01.2010

*Corresponding author

S. MUKHOPADHYAY et al.,

Reports on air quality parameters in the different coal field areas viz., Raniganj Coal Field Area (Ghose and Sinha, 1990) Jharia Coal Field (Majee and Ghose, 1996; Ghose and Majee, 2000, 2002; Ghose, 2002); Banerjee and Hussain, 1989) are available. But no such work has been done in Asansol Raniganj coalfield regions. Fugitive dust due to paved and unpaved type of road at the site of surface mining contributes 50% of total dust emissions, out of which 3-4% or more is RSPM (Nair and Singh, 1990). Therefore, the present study was carried out for two consecutive years to analyse the ambient air quality standard in the RCF areas. Details of the study area Bankola ECL area is located within the RCF area and was established on 31st January 1973 as a coal mining sites in India. This area includes nine collieries viz ., Bankola, Shyamsunderpur, Kumardihi, Kumardihi - B, Tilabani, Nakrakanda, Sankarpur, Moira and Khandra Colliery. These collieries are controlled by six Agent Offices. Several other OCPs are also situated very near or within 5 km from the sampling sites. Four sites were chosen for sampling in Bankola ECL area covering all nine collieries for the two consecutives years 2006 - 07 and 2007 - 08 in summer (March to June), rainy (July to October) and Winter (November to February). The geographical positions of the sampling sites are as follows Shankarpur Area Office (Shitalpur) (233947.3N latitude and 87 13 14.9 E longitude), Bankola Area ECL Colony (23 40 12.9 N latitude and 87 14 03.5 E), Nabagram Panchayet Office (234017.46N latitude and 871419.93E longitude) and Ukhra Bajpayee More (233915.6N latitude and 871417.6E longitude). The sampling sites have been chosen on the basis of their distance from mines and, categorized as per State Pollution Control Board, West Bengal. Shankarpur Area Office and Bankola Area Colony are very near to Opencast Mines, which are now in operation/working, and the remaining two sites (Nabagram Panchayet Office and Ukhra Bajpayee More) are within 5 km from these OCPs. Among these sampling sites, Shankarpur Agent Office, and Ukhra Bajapyee More are lying under Category A, i.e., Industrial and mixed areas (as per SPCB recommendation), Nabagram Panchayat Office and Bankola ECL Area Colony are Category B type respectively as per SPCB recommendation.

b) Nitrogen oxides [IS 5182 (Part VI): 1976] c) Oxides of Sulfur [IS 5182 (Part II): 2001]

RESULTS
In Shankarpur Area Office, the maximum concentration of SPM in winter was 285.787 g/m3 and minimum concentration was 184.754 g/m3; in summer season, the highest and lowest values were 241.058 g/m3 and 177.493 g/m3 respectively. During summer, the maximum concentration of NOx was 113.383 g/m3 and the minimum concentration was 64.375 g/m3; during winter, the maximum value was 121.90 g/m3 and the minimum value was 80.182 g/m3. The maximum
ECL quarter Nabagram 250
CONC

Ukhra Shitalpur

200 150 100 50 0 Winter Summer Season Rainy

Figure1: Concentration of SPM in different seasons of the four areas

ECL quarter Nabagram 140 120 100


CONC

Ukhra Shitalpur

80 60 40 20 0 Winter Summer
Season

Rainy

MATERIALS AND METHODS


Sampling is done by the using of High Volume Sampler (Model: NPM HVS; manufactured by Environment & Process Instrumentation Division). The air quality was monitored twice a week for consecutive three days in each season and location. The samples were collected at an interval of 8 hr shift corresponding to day time (6 to14 hrs), evening time (14 to 22 hrs) and night time (22 to 6 hrs). The average rainfall was collected during the study period of two years. Analytical procedures The methods adopted for measurement SPM, Nitrogen oxides, Oxides of sulphur are as follows: a) Suspended Particulate Matter [IS 5182 (Part IV): 1991] 20

Figure 2: Concentration of NOx in different seasons of the four areas


ECL quarter Nabagram 120 100 80 60 40 20 0
Winter Summer

Ukhra Shitalpur

CONC

Rainy

Season

Figure 3: Concentration of SOx in different seasons of the four areas

AMBIENT AIR QUALITY IN OPENCAST COAL MINING AREA

Table 1: Ambient air quality at Bankola area colony during different seasons Sample no 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Min Max Average Sd
300

Winter Spm 176.835 194.444 193.809 169.360 164.000 154.321 188.889 159.321 154.321 194.444 175.115 15.839

NO x 81.893 81.736 84.837 128.240 88.096 76.443 86.406 91.299 76.443 128.240 89.869 16.146
ECL Colony Nabagram

SOx 72.540 80.188 75.134 112.995 102.641 67.124 61.765 64.549 61.765 112.995 79.617 18.580
Shitalpur Ukhra

Summer Spm 187.567 141.414 195.217 116.953 168.753 148.876 116.953 195.217 159.79 29.661

NO x 62.906 59.284 55.980 86.418 63.110 89.006 55.830 89.006 69.426 14.438
160

SOx 76.690 68.319 55.495 78.278 59.202 70.547 55.495 78.287 68.090 9.183

Rainy Spm 160.772 141.414 146.413 125.960 168.753 108.876 108.876 168.753 142.031 22.101

NO x 63.798 31.870 41.092 39.824 42.287 41.152 31.870 63.798 43.337 10.709

SOx 12.901 33.739 32.287 33.552 35.521 35.273 12.901 35.521 30.546 8.726

250

140

ECL quarter Nabagram

Shitalpur Ukhra

120

Concentration of SPM

200

150

Concentration of NOx
Winter Summer Rainy

100

80

100

60

50

40

20

Figure 4: Average concentration of SPM in different seasons of the four study areas

0 Winter Summer Rainy

concentration of SOx in winter was 114.938 g/m and the minimum value was 89.424 g/m 3, during summer, the maximum and minimum values were 91.723 g/m 3 and 61.477 g/m3 respectively. In rainy season results obtained for SPM, NOx and SOx with maximum and minimum range of 186.726 g/m3 and 114.943 g/m3, 75.342 g/m3 and 42.917 g/m3 and 70.734 g/m3 and 45.021 g/m3 respectively which are comparatively lower than other two seasons in all the sites. In Bankola Area ECL Colony, the maximum and minimum concentration of SPM, during summer was 195.217 g/m3
Sample no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Min Max Average Sd Winter Spm 141.844 170.068 170.285 278.788 252.525 227.273 144.444 141.844 278.788 197.890 54.660 Summer Spm 177.469 140.940 167.754 205.261 158.998 184.502 140.940 205.261 172.487 22.104

Figure 5: Average concentration of NOx in different seasons of the four study areas

and 116.953 g/m3 respectively; the maximum concentration of and NOx was 89.006 g/m3 and the minimum concentration was 55.830 g/m3; during winter, the maximum value of NOx was 128.240 g/m3 and the minimum value was 76.443 g/ m3. The maximum concentration of SOx in winter was 112.995 g/m3 and the minimum value was 61.765 g/m 3; during summer, the maximum and minimum values were 78.287 g/ m3 and 55.495 g/m3 respectively. During the rainy season the max. - and minimum values for SPM, NOx and SOx were lower than other two seasons as compared.
Rainy Spm 155.741 73.826 109.102 151.099 118.246 167.729 73.826 167.729 122.624 33.094

Table 2: Ambient air quality at Nabagram gram panchayet office during different seasons NO x 144.539 133.538 88.978 117.382 106.308 144.144 113.386 88.978 144.538 121.182 20.652 SOx 120.613 90.912 91.688 91.123 80.749 142.246 80.188 80.188 142.246 99.646 23.103 NO x 74.455 75.756 64.459 84.220 85.450 75.004 64.459 85.450 76.557 7.637 SOx 67.124 58.073 52.178 73.260 55.863 60.525 52.178 73.260 61.171 7.754 NO x 46.303 41.817 41.625 40.004 31.444 37.720 31.444 46.303 39.819 4.978 SOx 18.562 24.218 35.544 37.753 11.727 20.175 11.727 37.753 24.663 10.146

21

S. MUKHOPADHYAY et al.,
ECL quarter Nabagram

140

Shitalpur Ukhra

120

SPM were 167.729 g/m3 and 73.826 g/m3; for NOX these were 46.303 g/m3 and 31.444 g/m3 respectively and for SOX the concentrations were 37.753 g/m3 and 11.729 g/m3 respectively. In Ukhra Bajpayee More, during summer, the maximum concentration of NOx was 63.229 g/m3 and the minimum concentration was 39.504 g/m3; during winter, the maximum value was 96.314 g/m3, the minimum value was 77.753 g/ m3. In winter the maximum concentration of SPM was 224.152 g/m3 and minimum concentration was 164.391 g/m3; in summer season, the highest and lowest values were 209.401 g/m 3 and 161.684 g/m 3 respectively. The maximum concentration of SOx in winter was 83.851 g/m3 and the minimum value was 60.285 g/m 3; during summer, the maximum and minimum values were 59.399 g/ m 3 and 41.924 g/ m3 respectively. In rainy season the maximum and minimum values for SPM were 192.308 g/m3 and 108.927 g/m3; for NOX these were 55.790 g/m3 and 36.682 g/m3 respectively and for SOX the concentrations were 44.412 g/ m3 and 34.301 g/m3 respectively.

100

Concentration of SOx

80

60

40

20

0 Winter Summer Rainy

Figure 6: Average concentration of SOx in different seasons of the four study areas

In Nabagram Panchayet Office, the maximum concentrations of SPM in winter and summer were 278.788 g/m 3 and 205.261 g/m 3; and the minimum concentrations were 141.844 g/m3 and 140.940 g/m3 respectively. The maximum concentration of SOx in winter was 142.246 g/m3 and the minimum value was 80.188 g/m 3; during summer, the maximum and minimum values were 73.260 g/m 3 and 52.178 g/m3 respectively. During summer, the maximum concentration of NOx was 85.450 g/m3 and the minimum concentration was 64.459 g/m3; during winter, the maximum value was 144.539 g/m3 and the minimum value was 88.978 g/m3. In rainy season the maximum and minimum values for

DISCUSSION
Opencast coal mining is intensive in the RCF Area due to easy availability of thick coal seams at shallow depth. In Shankarpur Agent Office, and Ukhra Bajpayee More, which are industrial areas, the concentration of SPM, SOx, and NOx fall within the National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Bankola ECL Area Colony is basically a residential area here the SPM, SOx, and NOx concentrations exceeded the Standard value. Sample, collected from Nabagram Panchayet Office, also a residential area, shows more SPM, SOx, and NOx, than the Standard values. In this study it was also observed that concentrations of SPM,

Table: 3 Ambient air quality at shankarpur area office (Shitalpur) during different seasons Sample no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Min Max Average Sd Winter Spm 184.754 247.956 220.482 285.787 211.640 265.178 184.754 285.787 235.966 37.238 NO x 94.446 82.740 95.937 94.257 121.900 80.182 80.182 121.900 94.910 14.800 SOx 105.671 94.237 107.676 89.424 114.938 102.154 89.424 114.938 102.350 9.282 Summer Spm 229.885 180.577 199.509 177.493 193.335 241.058 177.493 241.058 203.643 26.183 NO x 101.192 64.375 91.874 67.710 113.383 71.273 64.375 113.383 84.968 20.138 SOx 61.477 83.766 73.838 88.848 86.203 91.723 61.477 91.723 80.976 11.347 Rainy Spm 114.943 126.115 138.122 147.493 143.335 186.726 114.943 186.726 142.789 24.609 NO x 60.715 42.917 54.228 43.283 75.342 47.515 42.917 75.342 54.000 12.493 SOx 45.021 70.734 51.826 60.964 54.906 51.387 45.021 70.734 55.806 8.966

Table 4: Ambient air quality at Ukhra Bajpayee more during different seasons Sample no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Min Max Average Sd Winter Spm 164.391 212.401 224.038 224.152 204.975 185.623 164.391 224.152 202.597 23.544 NO x 77.753 92.981 78.032 81.829 96.314 81.853 77.753 96.314 84.794 7.906 SOx 77.104 72.413 73.106 83.851 66.618 60.285 60.258 83.851 72.230 8.17 Summer Spm 166.542 161.684 168.036 194.742 209.401 206.314 161.864 209.401 184.453 21.517 NO x 55.180 63.229 60.196 39.504 57.788 51.158 39.504 63.229 54.509 8.438 SOx 53.973 41.924 59.399 54.937 56.794 49.801 41.924 59.399 52.797 6.203 Rainy Spm 192.308 163.371 108.927 120.192 184.615 108.956 108.927 192.308 146.395 38.338 NO x 45.147 55.790 44.590 36.682 38.526 38.369 36.682 55.790 43.184 7.098 SOx 41.122 34.301 41.122 40.480 44.412 39.317 34.301 44.412 40.126 3.319

22

AMBIENT AIR QUALITY IN OPENCAST COAL MINING AREA

SOx, and NOx of all monitoring sites have a maximum value during winter followed by summer and rainy. Ukhra is a township, and the maximum value of SPM was 224.152 g/ m3 where as in Bankola Area Colony the concentration was 194.444 g/ m3. At Nabagram Panchayet Office, it was 278.788 g/m3 but in Sankarpur Area Office it was highest 285.787 g/ m3. Similar results were also recorded by various researchers (Nanda, and Tiwary, 2001; Soni, and Agarwal, 1997) for Indian coal mining areas. Actually, in winter, anti-cyclonic conditions prevailed, which was characterised by calm or light winds and restricted mixing depth due to a stable or inversion atmospheric lapse rate, resulting in little dispersion or dilution of pollutants, which, in its turn, helped in the build-up of pollution concentrations to the higher levels. The concentrations of particulate matter at most of the monitoring stations were reached maximum during winter as also studied in Lb Valley area by Chaulya (2004). The average SPM concentration was also found to be much higher during winter in comparison with the summer. The mining activity generates a huge amount of dust which is directly related with coal production, therefore, it is considered as one of the main parameters of air pollution. During transportation through haul road adds huge amount of dust load as fugitive dust. It is estimated that 0.02% of the coal is lost as fugitive dust during loading for transportation (Cowherd, 1982). It is recorded that in the mining operation-zone haul road is covered by 3 - 5" thick dust on the surface. One of the important sources of fugitive dust is from coal stock piles caused due to wind flow, shoveling and trucking. Drilling is another major source of fugitive dust which may generate dust at a concentration of 20 - 25 mg/m3 (Nair and Sinha, 1987). Dust emission from haul road and side debris was reduced by spraying water on haul road near office, Nabagram Pancheyet Office. The maximum concentration of SPM observed in the daytime from (9 to 16 h) of the industrial area may be due to the mining activities in the general shifts. During the monsoon SPM concentration were found to be the lowest due to washing by rain water but in some places it exceeds the permissible limits as recommended by WBSPCB. The maximum value of SO x was observed during winter seasons at Nabagram Panchayet Office, and lowest value was detected at Bankola Area Colony. At Nabagram Panchayet Office and Sankarpur Area Office have maximum concentrations of SO2, i.e., 142.246 g/m3 and 114.938 g/ m3 respectively. The burning of coal produces about 60% of all sulphur oxides emissions. A good amount of SO2 is also released from spontaneous heating of coal from waste dumps as well as instant or occasional mine fires. During winter, maximum concentration of SOx was also observed by Ghosh and Majee, 2000. The high concentration of SO2 is due to coal fires in the patches left with dump where there is substantial amount of coal bends causing smoke and fumes. At Nabagram Panchayet Office maximum value of NOX was obtained during winter, the minimum concentration in other seasons, summer and rainy. The sources of nitrogen oxides are from combustion of coal at a very high temperature, emissions from transportation vehicles, blasting by nitrogenous compounds etc . Bankola Area Colony and Nabagram Panchayet Office are residential areas, showing 23

maximum NOx concentration in winter, i.e., 128.240 g/m3 and 144.538 g/m3 respectively. From this study it may be concluded that the concentration of SOx, NOx, and SPM of industrial areas are within the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, but at residential areas, the value exceeds the Standard. Since, residential areas have higher concentration of air pollutants, so as remedial measures, plantation, water spraying on unpaved roads should be adopted. The present study revealed that the yearly average exceeded the permissible limits recommended for industrial zone (500 g/m3), residential area (200 g/m3) and commercial area (250 g/m3) in the three seasons.

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