Urban Green, A Sustainable Approach To Air Pollution Mitigation
Air pollution has accompanied in many distinct ways since the onset of industrial revolution. It may be from agricultural activities, livestock, coal burning, oil production, chemical fumes from the industries, power plants, and exhaust smoke from tail pipes of auto motor vehicles. All of which are anthropogenic sources of pollution. Among air pollutants, particulate matter due to its size fraction and chemical composition complexity poses a great risk to human health. Such as eyes, nose, throat irritation, compromising lung function, exacerbating respiratory conditions, cardio vascular diseases and premature death. Standard practices to monitor air pollution are conventional air quality monitoring stations, which are sparsely located, at times away from the pollution source providing a rather coarse resolution of the ambient air quality. A step forward to air pollution monitoring and mitigation is “Magnetic Biomonitoring”, where foliage of trees are analysed magnetically. Saturation Isothermal Remanent Magnetization (SIRM) – it is the magnetization remanence of an object after applying a saturating magnetic field. This process is rather fast, inexpensive as well as provides high resolution information.
This study aims to fully understand the potentials of magnetic biomonitoring by selecting three distinct evergreen plant species (Hedera helix, Rhododenderon , Taxusbaccata) during winters at weekly intervals (15th February 2016 – 2nd May 2016). In addition to magnetic analyses, the leaf wettability or hydrophobicity of leaf surfaces were analyzed. A tree species with a hydrophobic leaf surface (greater drop contact angles) tend to accumulate less particles on their surfaces whereas tree species with smaller contact angles are hydrophilic in nature and accumulate large number of particles.
A gradual increase in SIRM values were observedfor all species. Taxusbacatta accumulated the most particulate matter on its leaf surface (26-148 x 10-6A) whereas Hedera helix relatively less (10-53 x 10-6A) (p < 0.0001). Increased wettability (p < 0.05)was also observed for all three species as the sampling campaign progressed concluding abrasion of leaf surfaces due to particle deposits.
Keywords - Magnetic biomonitoring, Saturation Isothermal Remanent Magnetization, Leaf wettability.