Building Partner Capacity: Training on the Operation and Maintenance of Air Quality Instruments

Participants of the regional workshop on Air Quality Instrument Operation and Maintenance.
Photo credit: ICIMOD

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) conduced its first regional workshop on Air Quality Instrument Operation and Maintenance from 21–25 November 2016 in Kathmandu.

The training provided information on basics such as the working principles of instruments, their daily operational aspects, maintenance, calibration, and troubleshooting. Thirty-seven participants nominated by the governments of Bhutan and Nepal participated in the workshop, which was also attended by ICIMOD staff. Participants included students who can apply the knowledge acquired over the course of the five-day event to inform their research, and scientists, researchers and other professionals who will be using these instruments in the field.

Participants from Nepal represented the Department of Environment (DoEnv), the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), Kathmandu University, Tribhuwan University, the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, the Environment Management Department–Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, and Real Times Solutions Pvt Ltd (RTS). Bhutanese participants represented the National Environment Commission (NEC), and the College of Science and Technology. A student from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, also participated.

The training course was a combination of classroom-style presentation, and hands-on training involving the use of actual equipment under the guidance of engineers from instrument manufacturers Thermo Fisher Scientific India Pvt Ltd

Engineers from Thermo Fisher Scientific India Pvt Ltd demonstrating the use of instruments.
Photo credit: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

“We routinely organize workshops like this one for our customers, but this is our first time doing so for one particular customer, ICIMOD,” said Radheshyam Yadav, a presenter and trainer at the workshop. Yadav is senior manager of customer care at Thermo Fisher Scientific India.

For the first time in Nepal, workshop participants were introduced to gas analysers and given training on how to use them instruments that included in the training are  the Carbon monoxide (CO) Analyser, Model- 48i-TLE; the Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Analyser, Model-43i-TLE; the Nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide or nitrogen oxides  (NOx) Analyser, Model- 42i-TL; Ozone (O3) Nanalyzer. Model 49i;  the Zero Air Generator, Model: 1160; and the Multi Gas Calibrator, Model: 146i. Demo installations were set up for all the analysers, and their accessories and calibration were given due attention as well. Ambient air quality monitoring systems were commissioned at workshop observatory sites in Ratna Park and Dhulikhel. 

Participants learning to read a gas analyser at the workshop observatory site in Dhulikhel. 
Photo credit: Subasana/ICIMOD

One of the participants, Hasana Maharjan, an environment inspector at DoEnv Nepal remarked on the usefulness of the workshop. She said that the DoEnv plans to work on combating air pollution in Nepal in the coming days, and that the workshop had helped her gain useful elementary operational knowledge on the instruments. 

ICIMOD’s atmosphere Initiative, in partnership with the governments of Nepal and Bhutan, has established state-of-the-art air quality stations in both countries. The training workshop was a part of an effort to build regional partner capacity. “The feedback received from this workshop will be referred to when planning future trainings on air quality parameters such as particulate matter and black carbon,” said Siva Praveen Puppala, Aerosol Scientist at ICIMOD. Puppala was the main coordinator of the training workshop.