Quantitative and diversity analysis of biomass collected from Singapore haze 2015
Chiang, Mervyn Wen Qiang
Date of Issue2016-05-17
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The most recent haze event which occurred in year 2015 was a recurring event in Singapore and it is becoming more of a health concern to the people residing in Singapore. With regards to the escalating health concerns arising from haze, there have been extensive studies conducted on particulate matter but lacking on the biomass aspect of the airborne particles. This report will conduct the comparison study on biomass concentrations in Singapore during haze and non-haze period as well as the quantification of airborne fungi concentrations for further justifications. The conduct of investigation was carried out by sampling of biological content during the haze and non-haze period, with the non-haze period samples acting as a control. During the haze period, biological content was sampled from the 11th to 18th September and 20th, 24th to 27th October 2015. As for the non-haze period, biological content was sampled from the 7th to 12th, 14th to 15th and 22nd to 23rd December 2015. Qubit measurement and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis were then carried out to determine the total deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) concentrations and airborne fungi concentrations. Based on the results, lower biomass concentrations were observed during haze period and vice versa for the non-haze period. Contrary to findings during non-hazy period, biomass and fungi concentrations during hazy period were higher in the day as compared to night. Correlations between biomass concentrations and PSI readings for both haze and non-haze period were significantly weak to prove any correlation. Future researches are recommended to carry out the sampling at various locations of different heights and for a longer duration, to achieve higher statistical significance. Parameters such as relative humidity and temperature could also be measured concurrently with the sampling of biological content, to further justify the results obtained. Also, a more efficient filter in trapping particle size of less than 1 micron e.g. MERV 16 HVAC filter could be evaluated to determine its effectiveness by comparing with the MERV 11 HVAC filter used for this study. Specific species of biological particles could be further substantiated by developing a diversity study on bioaerosols during haze and non-haze period and a possible implementation of a toxicology assessment upon identification of potentially pathogenic species.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University