Diesel irrigation pumps are a source of air pollution in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). The environmental implications of these pumps are often overlooked and very rarely addressed in the IGP. Few studies in the past have estimated the amount of diesel consumed by irrigation pumps in the IGP or other proxy variables to estimate the amount of emissions. A considerable amount of uncertainty remains in calculating emission factors (EF) using real-time measurements. We measured pollutants from nine diesel irrigation pumps in the southern ‘Terai’ belt of Nepal. Fuel-based EF were then estimated using the carbon mass balance method. The average EF for fine particulate matter (PM2.5
, CO and black carbon (BC) were found to be 22.11 ± 3.71, 2218.10 ± 26.8, 275 ± 17.18 and 2.54 ± 0.71 g/L, respectively. Depending upon the pump characteristics (age, design, make, hours used, etc.) and fuel mixtures, the EF of PM2.5
, BC and CO had larger inter-variability. This study provides estimates for an under-represented source of ambient air pollution which will assist in the development of better emission inventories and informed policy making.
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