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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)

Assessment of impacts of the emission reduction measures of short-lived climate forcers on air quality and climate in SE Asia  

PI: Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)
Co-PIs: Huang Xuan Co, Hanoi University of Sciences (HUS) Vietnam National University; Asep Sofyan, Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB); and
Nguyen Tri Quang Hung, Nong Lam University (NLU)
US Partner: Philip Hopke, Clarkson University
Project Dates: June 2012 - August 2016

Project Overview

1-243 Rice straw burning

Open burning of rice straw on the outskirts of Hanoi, fall 2014 (photo courtesy Dr. Kim Oanh).
In Southeast Asia (SEA) the levels of strong short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) such as black carbon and tropospheric ozone have been reported to be high and increasing, which may have multiple effects on air quality, health, crops, and climate. SEA is also recognized as a major emitter of both air pollution and climate forcers in Asia, with several typical emission source types of importance such as agroresidue field burning, residential combustion, solid waste open burning, and small and medium industries. As yet, no comprehensive study has been conducted to explore quantitative links between the SEA source emission intensity and resulting air quality, the associated effects, and the climate impacts within the region and beyond. To meet the need for data and analysis on the topic, this project will bring together leading SEA and U.S. research groups to study air pollution – climate interactions. The project will involve assessment of the impacts of various mitigation measures of important SLCFs in the SEA region on air quality and climate using a co-benefit approach and will generate a scientific basis for policy recommendations to integrate air quality and climate policies.
The concrete objectives and planned activities of this project include a comprehensive emission inventory database of key air pollutants and climate forcers for major emission sources for SEA, development of action plans for emission reduction, and pilot scale emission reduction projects for the target sources in selected SEA countries. Two countries, Indonesia and Vietnam, were selected for the emission inventory and pilot scale projects. The target sources will be selected based on the results of the emission inventory and should have the potential to multiply, such as agroresidue field burning, solid waste open burning, and residential cooking. Realistic emission reduction scenarios will be developed and assessed using a modeling tool. Through its involvement of researchers from Vietnam, Indonesia, and the United States, the project should create new knowledge on the interactions between emissions, local and regional air quality, and regional climate as it promotes the development of a strong research network.
Summary of Recent Activities
During this quarter, AIT coordinated NRI’s activities and conducted planned research components. SLCPs sampling activities and samples analysis have been continued by AIT students. In addition, national data for EI in Vietnam were compiled and tested using the WRF-CAMx modeling system to simulate ozone and particulate matter in Vietnam. At the city level, emission inventory for the transport sector was conducted in Yangon, Myanmar and Phnom Penh, Cambodia using IVE traffic emission models. Preliminary experiments for preparation of various rice straw derived fuel (roped rice straw) were conducted and the fuel was burned. The emission was measured for CO, CO2, CH4, BTEX, and PM (with size segregation). AIT also began work on a media outreach video, “Say No to Open Burning of Rice Straw”. The video scripts have been drafted and video production is ongoing.

ITB collected additional data of SLCPs and updated the EI database with particular focus on a detailed EI for Bandung city and Karawang city. The WRF/Chem air quality model was set up and run for Karawang city and in HUS, SLCPs samples collected from the previous sampling campaign in Hanoi were analyzed. HUS also met with the Institute of Agricultural Environment, Vietnam to discuss the development of an emission reduction action plan for rice straw burning and agreed that bio-charcoal as a soil conditioning material will be conducted in a pilot area in Soc Son, Hanoi. During this reporting period, NLU conducted three additional trial batches of BIOCHAR production (charcoal from rice husk) in the Go Cong Tay district of Tien Giang province. A comparative study between bio-charcoal from rice straw and rice husk was completed using the results.

1-243 HUS Students at Monitoring Site

1-243 Indonesia air monitoring

Students from HUS visiting a monitoring site at the Athletic Vocational School, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi (photo courtesy Dr. Kim Oanh).ITB researchers install an air quality monitoring system in Karawang, August 2014 (photo courtesy Dr. Kim Oanh).
Networking at national and local levels has been well-maintained by AIT and NRIs through collaboration activities, data sharing, and knowledge transfers through the research network, workshops, conferences, and other forums.

In next quarter, PEER-SEA team will continue to update database on SLCPs and compile EI. An air quality-climate model will be operated and the results will be analysed. The team’s activities for the emission reduction of rice straw field burning at the target source will be continued by AIT, HUS, and NLU, while ITB will focus primarily on traffic emissions.
The project website can be found online at