LSU researchers identify measures to reduce air pollution in India

A team of LSU researchers has come up with solutions to help smog-ridden India cut down on air pollution.

The group—comprised of LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Hongliang Zhang along with Greenpeace and professors from Nanjun University, Texas A&M University and The Indian Institute of Technology—came up with 13 ways to reduce air pollution in India by 40%, according to an LSU announcement.

“We started the work in June 2016,” Zhang says. “Air pollution in India is severe but not much attention has been paid (to it there) compared to the U.S. and China. Greenpeace also wanted to investigate this and inform the public.”

Spurred by India’s need for a National Clean Air Plan, the team carried out an atmospheric modeling study that identified ambient air pollution sources and analyzed their contribution to pollution levels. Multiple sectors were targeted, including thermal power, manufacturing industries, household solid fuels, and crop burning.

The measures with the largest potential for air quality improvements are reducing emissions from thermal power plants, instituting strong emission standards for industry, reducing solid fuel use in households, shifting to zig-zag kilns in brickmaking and introducing stronger vehicular emissions standards on an accelerated schedule. Each of these could prevent 80,000 to 180,000 deaths per year from air pollution, but it would take all 13 to cut 40% of pollution Zhang says.  

Read the full announcement.

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