Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 130, Issue 2, pp 241–257 | Cite as

Five-year measurements of ambient ammonia and its relationships with other trace gases at an urban site of Delhi, India

  • Saraswati
  • S. K. Sharma
  • T. K. Mandal
Original Paper


In this study, we present the 5-year measurements of ambient ammonia (NH3), oxides of nitrogen (NO and NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) along with the meteorological parameters at an urban site of Delhi, India from January 2011 to December 2015. The average mixing ratios of ambient NH3, NO, NO2 and CO over the entire period of observations were recorded as 19.3 ± 4.4 (ppb), 20.1 ± 5.9 (ppb), 18.6 ± 4.6 (ppb) and 1.8 ± 0.5 (ppm), respectively. The mixing ratios of NH3, NO, NO2 and CO were recorded highest during winter season, followed by summer and monsoon season. In the present case, a substantial seasonal variation of NH3 was observed during all the seasons except NO, NO2 and CO. The results emphasized that the traffic could be one of the significant sources of ambient NH3 at the urban site of Delhi as illustrated by positive correlations of NH3 with traffic related pollutants (NO x and CO). Surface wind as well as back trajectory analysis also supports the road side traffic and agricultural activities at the nearby area indicating possible major sources of ambient NH3 at observational site. Trajectory analysis, potential source contribution function and concentration weighted trajectory analysis indicated the surrounding nearby areas (NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) as a significant source region of ambient NH3 at the observational site of Delhi.



The authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi and Head, Environmental Sciences and Biomedical Metrology Division, CSIR-NPL, New Delhi for their encouragement support for this study. The authors also acknowledge Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi (CMM project; CSIR-EMPOWER Project: OLP-102132) and Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi (Grant No.: SR/S4/AS:12/2008) for financial support. The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

703_2017_512_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1619 kb)


  1. Aneja VP, Chauhan JP, Walker JT (2000) Characterization of atmospheric ammonia emissions from swine waste storage and treatment lagoons. J Geophys Atmos 105:11535–11545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashbaugh LL, Malm WC, Sadeh WZ (1985) A residence time probability analysis of sulfur concentrations at Grand Canyon National Park. Atmos Environ 19:1263–1270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asman WA, Sutton MA, Schjørring JK (1998) Ammonia: emission atmospheric transport and deposition. New Phytol 139:27–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beig G, Gunthe S, Jadhav DB (2007) Simultaneous measurements of ozone and its precursors on a diurnal scale at a semi urban site in India. J Atmos Chem 57:239–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bishop GA, Stedman DH (2015) Reactive nitrogen species emission trends in three light-medium-duty United States fleets. Environ Sci Technol 49:11234–11240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brankov E, Rao ST, Porter PS (1998) A trajectory-clustering-correlation methodology for examining the long-range transport of air pollutants. Atmos Environ 32:1525–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cadle SH, Countess RJ, Kelly NA (1982) Nitric acid and ammonia in urban and rural locations. Atmos Environ 16:2501–2506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cao JJ, Zhang T, Chow JC, Watson JG, Wu F, Li H (2009) Characterization of atmospheric ammonia over Xi’an China. Aerosol Air Qual Res 9:277–289Google Scholar
  9. Cape JN, Tang YS, Van Dijk N, Love L, Sutton MA, Palmer SCF (2004) Concentrations of ammonia and nitrogen dioxide at roadside verges and their contribution to nitrogen deposition. Environ Pollut 132:469–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chak CK, Yao X (2008) Air pollution in mega cities in China. Atmos Environ 42:1–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Child D (2006) The essentials of factor analysis. A&C BlackGoogle Scholar
  12. Chou MS, Wang CH (2007) Treatment of ammonia in air stream by biotrickling filter. Aerosol Air Qual Res 7:17–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clarisse L, Clerbaux C, Dentener F, Hurtmans D, Coheur PF (2009) Global ammonia distribution derived from infrared satellite observations. Nat Geosci 2:479–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Datta A, Saud T, Goel A, Tiwari S, Sharma SK, Saxena M, Mandal TK (2010) Variation of ambient SO2 over Delhi. J Atmos Chem 65(2–3):127–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dore CJ, Watterson JD, Murrells TP, Passant NR, Hobson MM, Choudrie SL, Thistlethwaite GWagner A, Jackson J, Li Y, Bush T, King KR, Norris J, Coleman PJ, Walker C, Stewart RA, Goodwin JWL, Tsagatakis I, Conolly C, Downes MK, Brophy N, Hann MR (2005) UK emissions of Air pollutants 1970 to 2003 UKGoogle Scholar
  16. Draxler RR, Rolph GD (2011) HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model access via NOAA ARL READY website ( NOAA Air Resources Laboratory Silver Spring
  17. DSHB (2016) Delhi statistical Hand Book 2015–2016 Directorate of Economics and Statistics Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (
  18. Erisman JW, Schaap M (2004) The need for ammonia abatement with respect to secondary PM reductions in Europe. Environ Pollut 129:159–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fraser MP, Cass GR (1998) Detection of excess ammonia emissions from in-use vehicles and the implications for fine particle control. Environ Sci Technol 32:1053–1057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fu X, Wang S, Zhao B, Xing J, Cheng Z, Liu H, Hao J (2013) Emission inventory of primary pollutants and chemical speciation in 2010 for the Yangtze River Delta region China. Atmos Environ 70:39–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Galloway JN, Dianwu Z, Jiling X, Likens GE (1987) Acid rain: China United States and a remote area. Science 236:1559–1562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Galloway JN, Aber JD, Erisman JW, Seitzinger SP, Howarth RW, Cowling EB, Cosby BJ (2003) The nitrogen cascade. Bioscience 53:341–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gandhi HS, Shelef M (1991) Effects of sulphur on noble metal automotive catalysts. Appl Catal 77:175–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gaur A, Tripathi SN, Kanawade VP, Tare V, Shukla SP (2014) Four-year measurements of trace gases (SO2, NOx, CO, and O3) at an urban location, Kanpur in Northern India. J Atmos Chem 71(4):283–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gong L, Lewicki R, Griffin RJ, Flynn JH, Lefer BL (2011) Atmospheric ammonia measurements in Houston, TX using an external-cavity quantum cascade laser-based sensor. Atmos Chem Phys 11(18):9721–9733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gupta A, Kumar R, Kumari KM, Srivastava SS (2003) Measurement of NO2, HNO3, NH3 and SO2 and related particulate matter at a rural site in Rampur India. Atmos Environ 37(34):4837–4846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heeb NV, Forss AM, Brühlmann S, Lüscher R, Saxer CJ, Hug P (2006) Three-way catalyst-induced formation of ammonia—velocity- and acceleration-dependent emission factors. Atmos Environ 40:5986–5997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Heeb NV, Haag R, Seiler C, Schmid P, Zennegg M, Wichser A, Ulrich A, Honeggar P, Zeyer K, Emmnegger L, Zimmerli Y, Czerwinski J, Kasper M, Meyer A (2012) Effects of a combined diesel particle filter-DeNOx system (DPN) on reactive nitrogen compounds emissions: a parameter study. Environ Sci Technol 46:13317–13325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hsu YC, Lai MH, Wang WC, Chiang HL, Shieh ZX (2008) Characteristics of water-soluble ionic species in fine (PM2.5) and coarse particulate matter (PM10–2.5) in Kaohsiung Southern Taiwan. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 58:1579–1589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Huai T, Durbin TD, Younglove T, Scora G, Barth M, Norbeck JM (2005) Vehicle specific power approach to estimating on-road NH3 emissions from light-duty vehicles. Environ Sci Technol 39:9595–9600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huang C, Chen CH, Li L, Cheng Z, Wang HL, Huang HY, Streets DJ, Wang YJ, Jhang GF, Chen YR (2011) Emission inventory of anthropogenic air pollutants and VOC species in the Yangtze River Delta region China. Atmos Chem Phys 11:4105–4120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hwang I, Hopke PK (2007) Estimation of source apportionment and potential source locations of PM2.5 at a west coastal IMPROVE site. Atmos Environ 41:506–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ianniello A, Spataro F, Esposito G, Allegrini I, Rantica E, Ancora MP, Zhu T (2010) Occurrence of gas phase ammonia in the area of Beijing (China). Atmos Chem Phys 10:9487–9503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jeong U, Kim J, Lee H, Jung J, Kim YJ, Song CH, Koo JH (2011) Estimation of the contributions of long range transported aerosol in East Asia to carbonaceous aerosol and PM concentrations in Seoul Korea using highly time resolved measurements: a PSCF model approach. J Environ Monit 13:1905–1918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Juneng L, Latif MT, Tangang FT, Mansor H (2009) Spatio-temporal characteristics of PM10 concentration across Malaysia. Atmos Environ 43:4584–4594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kapoor RK, Singh G, Tiwari S (1992) Ammonia concentration vis-a-vis meteorological conditions at Delhi India. Atmos Res 28:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kean AJ, Harley RA, Littlejohn D, Kendall GR (2009) On-road measurement of ammonia and other motor vehicle exhaust emissions. Environ Sci Technol 34:3535–3539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Khemani LT, Momin GA, Naik MS, Rao PP, Safai PD, Murty ASR (1987) Influence of alkaline particulates on pH of cloud and rain water in India. Atmos Environ 21:1137–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kim DJ, Pradhan D, Chaudhury GR, Ahn JG, Lee SW (2009) Bioleaching of complex sulfides concentrate and correlation of leaching parameters using multivariate data analysis technique. Mater Trans 50:2318–2322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kirchner M, Braeutigam S, Feicht E, Löflund M (2002) Ammonia emissions from vehicles and the effects on ambient air concentrations. Fresen Environ Bull 11:454–458Google Scholar
  41. Krupa SV (2003) Effects of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) on terrestrial vegetation: a review. Environ Pollut 124:179–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kulshrestha UC, Sarkar AK, Srivastava SS, Parasar D C (1996) Investigation into atmospheric deposition through precipitation studies at New Delhi (India). Atmos Environ 30:4149–4154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lam KC, Tao R, Lam MCK (2010) A material supplier selection model for property developers using fuzzy principal component analysis. Autom Constr 19:608–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lee S, Baumann K, Schauer JJ, Sheesley RJ, Naeher LP, Meinardi S, Blake DR, Edgerton ES, Russel AG, Clements M (2005) Gaseous and particulate emissions from prescribed burning in Georgia. Environ Sci Technol 39:9049–9056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Li Y, Schwab JJ, Demerjian KL (2006) Measurements of ambient ammonia using a tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer: Characteristics of ambient ammonia emissions in an urban area of New York City. J Geophys Res 111:D10. doi: 10.1029/2005JD006275 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Liu CW, Lin KH, Kuo YM (2003) Application of factor analysis in the assessment of ground water quality in a black-foot disease area in Taiwan. Sci Total Environ 313:77–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Liu T, Wang X, Wang B, Ding X, Deng W, Lü S, Zhang Y (2014) Emission factor of ammonia (NH3) from on-road vehicles in China: tunnel tests in urban Guangzhou. Environ Res Lett 9:064027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Livingston C, Rieger P, Winer A (2009) Ammonia emissions from a representative in-use fleet of light and medium-duty vehicles in the California South Coast Air Basin. Atmos Environ 43:3326–3333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Marković DM, Marković DA, Jovanović A, Lazić L, Mijić Z (2008) Determination of O3, NO2 SO2, CO and PM10 measured in Belgrade urban area. Environ Monit Assess 145:349–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Meng ZY, Ding GA, Xu XB, Xu XD, Yu HQ, Wang SF (2008) Vertical distributions of SO2 and NO2 in the lower atmosphere in Beijing urban areas China. Sci Total Environ 390:456–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Meng ZY, Lin WL, Jiang XM, Yan P, Wang Y, Zhang YM, Xia XF, Yu XL (2011) Characteristics of atmospheric ammonia over Beijing China. Atmos Chem Phys 11:6139–6151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Meng Z, Zhang R, Lin W, Jia X, Yu X, Wang G (2014) Seasonal variation of ammonia and ammonium aerosol at a background station in the Yangtze River Delta region China. Aerosol Air Qual Res 14:756–766Google Scholar
  53. Olivier JGJ, Bouwman AF, Van der Hoek KW, Berdowski JJM (1998) Global air emission inventories for anthropogenic sources of NOx, NH3 and N2O in 1990. Environ Pollut 102:135–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Perrino C, Catrambone M, Di Bucchianico ADM, Allegrini I (2002) Gaseous ammonia in the urban area of Rome Italy and its relationship with traffic emissions. Atmos Environ 36:5385–5394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Phan NT, Kim KH, Shon ZH, Jeon EC, Jung K, Kim NJ (2013) Analysis of ammonia variation in the urban atmosphere. Atmos Environ 65:177–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pires JCM, Sousa SIV, Pereira MC, Alvim-Ferraz MCM, Martins FG (2008) Management of air quality monitoring using principal component and cluster analysis—part I: SO2 and PM10. Atmos Environ 42:1249–1260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Richter A (2009) Nitrogen oxides in the troposphere—what have we learned from satellite measurements? Eur Phys J Conf 1:149–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ridley BA, Madronich S, Chatfield RB, Walega JG, Shetter RE, Carroll MA, Montzka DD (1992) Measurements and model simulations of the photostationary state during the Mauna-Loa-Observatory photochemistry experiment—implications for radical concentrations and Ozone production and loss rates. J Geophys Res 97:10375–10388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sakuri T, Fujita SI, Hayami H, Furuhashi N (2003) A case study of high ammonia concentration in the nighttime by means of modeling analysis in the Kanto region of Japan. Atmos Environ 37:4461–4465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Saylor RD, Edgerton ES, Hartsell BE, Baumann K, Hansen DA (2010) Continuous gaseous and total ammonia measurements from the southeastern aerosol research and characterization (SEARCH) study. Atmos Environ 44:4994–5004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sharma SK, Datta A, Saud T, Saxena M, Mandal TK, Ahammed YN, Arya BC (2010) Seasonal variability of ambient NH3, NO, NO2 and SO2 over Delhi. J Environ Sci 22:1023–1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sharma SK, Singh AK, Saud T, Mandal TK, Saxena M, Singh S, Ghosh S, Raha S (2012) Study on water soluble ionic composition of PM10 and trace gases over Bay of Bengal during W_ICARB campaign. Meteo Atmos Phy 118:37–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sharma SK, Kumar M, Gupta NC, Rohtash Saraswati, Saxena M, Mandal TK (2014a) Characteristics of ambient ammonia over Delhi India. Meteorol Atmos Phys 124:67–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sharma SK, Mandal TK, Rohtash, Kumar M, Gupta NC, Pathak H, Harit RC, Saxena M, (2014b). Measurement of ambient ammonia over the National Capital Region of Delhi, India. Mapan J Met Soc India 29(3):165–173Google Scholar
  65. Sharma SK, Mandal TK, Shenoy DM, Bardhan P, Srivastava MK, Chatterjee A, Saxena M, Saraswati, Singh BP, Ghosh SK (2015) Variation of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes composition of PM10 over Indo Gangetic Plain of India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95(5):661–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sharma A, Mandal TK, Sharma S K, Shukla D K, Singh S (2016) Relationships of surface ozone with its precursors, particulate matter and meteorology over Delhi. J Atmos Chem. doi: 10.1007/s10874-016-9351-7 Google Scholar
  67. Sharma SK, Mandal TK, Deb NC, Pal S (2016a) Measurement of ambient NH3 NO and NO2 at an urban area of Kolkata India. MAPAN-JMSI 31:75–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sharma S K, Mandal T K, Jain S, Saraswati, Sharma A, Saxena M (2016b) Source apportionment of PM2.5 in Delhi, India using PMF model. Environ Contam Toxicol 97:286–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sharma SK, Mandal TK, Srivastava MK, Chatterjee A, Jain S, Saxena M, Singh BP, Saraswati, Sharma A, Adak A, Ghosh SK (2016c) Spatio-temporal chemical characteristics of aerosol over Indo Gangetic Plain of India. Environ Sci Poll Res 23:18809–18822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sharma S K, Agarwal P, Mandal TK, Karapurkar SG, Shenoy DM, Peshin SK, Gupta A, Saxena M, Jain S, Sharma A, Saraswati (2017) Study on ambient air quality of megacity Delhi, India during odd-even strategy. Mapan J Met Soc India. doi: 10.1007/s12647-016-0201-5 Google Scholar
  71. Singh S, Kulshrestha UC (2014) Rural versus urban gaseous inorganic reactive nitrogen in the Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) of India. Environ Res Lett 9:125004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Singh SP, Satsangi GS, Khare P, Lakhani A, Kumari KM, Srivastava SS (2001) Multiphase measurement of atmospheric ammonia. Chemosphere Global Change Sci 3:107–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stanier C, Singh A, Adamski W, Baek J, Caughey M, Carmichael G, Edgerton E, Kenski D, Koerber M, Oleson J, Rohlf T, Lee SR, Riemer N, Shaw S, Sousan S, Spak SN, Rohlf T (2012) Overview of the LADCO winter nitrate study: hourly ammonia nitric acid and PM2.5 composition at an urban and rural site pair during PM2.5 episodes in the US Great Lakes region. Atmos Chem Phys 12:11037–11056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Stockwell WR, Watson JG, Robinson NF, Steiner W, Sylte WW (2000) The ammonium nitrate particle equivalent of NOx emissions for wintertime conditions in Central California’s San Joaquin Valley. Atmos Environ 34:4711–4717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Suarez-Bertoa R, Zardini AA, Astorga C (2014) Ammonia exhaust emissions from spark ignition vehicles over the New European Driving Cycle. Atmos Environ 97:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sun Y, Wang L, Wang Y, Quan L, Zirui L (2011) In situ measurements of SO2, NOx, NOy, and O3 in Beijing, China during August 2008. Sci Total Environ 409(5):933–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sutton MA, Dragosits U, Tang YS, Fowler D (2000) Ammonia emissions from non-agricultural sources in the UK. Atmos Environ 34:855–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wang Y, Zhuang G, Tang A, Yuan H, Sun Y, Chen S, Zheng A (2005) The ion chemistry and the source of PM2.5 aerosol in Beijing. Atmos Environ 39:3771–3784CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Whitehead JD, Longley ID, Gallagher MW (2007) Seasonal and diurnal variation in atmospheric ammonia in an urban environment measured using a quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer. Water Air Soil Pollut 183:317–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Yin Y, Zhang T, Luo Y, Lu D (2008) Spatial and diurnal variations in concentration of atmospheric NOx along urban-rural roadways in Nanjing Southeastern China. Int J Environ Pollut 32:332–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zhang QH, Zhang JP, Xue HW (2010) The challenge of improving visibility in Beijing. Atmos Chem Phys 10:7821–7827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zutshi PK, Sequeira R, Mahadevan TN, Banerjee T (1970) Environmental concentrations of some of the major inorganics pollutants at the Barc site Trombay. Indian J Meteorol Geophys 21:473–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Sciences and Biomedical Metrology DivisionCSIR-National Physical LaboratoryNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), CSIR-National Physical Laboratory CampusNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations