Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The impact of black carbon emissions from open burning of solid waste
Author: Reyna Bensusan, Natalia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 8690
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Open burning of solid waste is widely practiced in developing countries and is a significant source of air pollution, impacting climate change and human health. Waste disposal by open burning releases emissions of black carbon (BC), a pollutant with a global warming potential (GWP) up to 5,000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2). However, there are major uncertainties about the extent and impacts of BC emissions from uncontrolled burning of waste on the environment. The aim of this research is to quantify the impact of BC emissions from open burning of waste and to improve the quality of the available data on open waste combustion through field measurements and laboratory experimentation. Some of the first field data to be reported on the uncontrolled burning of waste is presented for two representative case study areas (Huejutla and Juchitán) in Mexico. Published statistical data were also scrutinized to provide an independent assessment of the extent of open burning of waste at a national level. Health databases provided by the authorities were analysed and the results showed that respiratory diseases were increased in rural areas of Huejutla and urban areas of Juchitán, corresponding with the increased exposure of the population to emissions from open burning of waste. This suggested a possible link between the uncontrolled combustion of waste and respiratory health. A small-scale, laboratory combustion apparatus was developed to quantify the emissions released by waste combustion and to develop BC emission factors (EFs) for waste representing the composition of the case study areas and for Mexico, using optical transmission and thermal optical analysis techniques. Black carbon EFs were also developed for single waste fractions and were used to estimate regional EFs based on the waste composition characteristics of different areas of the world. The results of this research have demonstrated that action to reduce open burning of waste would have a significant and immediate benefit to improving air quality and reducing climate change.
Supervisor: Smith, Stephen ; Wilson, David Sponsor: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología ; SEP ; Imperial College London ; Worshipful Company of Paviors
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral