Bangkok Air pollution: Situation Management
Permanent Secretary for the
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)
Profile of Bangkok City
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is situated on the low flat plain of Chao
Phraya River which extends to the Gulf of Thailand. Its latitude is 13 45' North, and the
longitude is 100 28' East. The total area of Bangkok is 1,568.737 sq. km. divided into 50
districts. Bangkok has a monsoon type of climate, which can be classified into three main
seasons: rainy (May-October), cool (November-January) and hot (February-April). The
average annual temperature was 29.2 C in 2002. The highest temperature average in
2002 was 33.3 C and the lowest temperature average was 25.1 C. The average wind
velocity was 2.23 m/sec. The relative humidity is high throughout the year. The provision
of well-developed infrastructures has enabled development of Bangkok as the focal center
for economic, culture and administrative activities. Thus, Bangkok is regarded as the
growth flagship of the Central Region and the whole country.
The total population of Bangkok in 2002 was 5.77 million . The trend
during 1987 - 2000 shows the decreasing number of population in the inner area and
increasing in the middle area. The population density in the inner area decreased from
15.27 to 11.09 thousand/sq. km (that is 3.25 to 2.36 million) during 1987 to 2000
respectively. The outer area shows increase in population density from 0.77 to 1.28
thousand/ sq.km (which is 0.67 to 1.12 million) in 1987 to 2000 respectively. In later year
(1995-2000) ,Bangkok seems to lose populations. However, the actual population of city
may not be known, as there are people who commute to work in Bangkok or live in the
city without registration. They are estimated to be around 3.21 million. Therefore, the
actual population of Bangkok in later years was likely around 8.89 million (NIDA, 1996)
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During 1987-1996, there was rapid rise in number of factories, but in 1997-
2000 number of factories was stable. In 2000, the total number of factories in Bangkok was
21,026 and the capital investment was 261,428 million baht with 608,088 employees. As a
result of economic crisis and the Bangkok Comprehensive Plan (1999), factory profile in
Bangkok are more likely to be small-scale factories.
The Bangkok Comprehensive Plan defines special zones for industrial
estates at Lat Krabang and Bangchan. The total number of factories in 2 Industrial Estates
was 221 in 2000. The plan promotes development of non- polluting and nuisance - free
industries to improve the urban environment. Therefore, new industries and factories have
been shifted outside the Bangkok to Sarnut Prakan and Pathum Thani. As ISO 14001 is
gaining popularity as direction for Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
certification in Thailand, the concept of this standard has enabled the organizations to
continually develop and improve their environmental management systems. In 1999, the
number of ISO 14001 certified companies was 288.
Bangkok City has been undergoing rapid urbanization and industrialization
since 1960. The increasing population is due to the development of infrastructures such as
road networks, real estate developments, land value, public policy as well as advancing
economy which resulted in expansion into the surrounding areas.
The rapid rise in population has caused community number to increase. The
BMA has defined communities into 5 categories which are slum community, suburb
community, real estates community, urban community and housing community. Number
of canals in Bangkok was 1,395 in 2001. Department of Drainage and Sewerage is
responsible for 339 canals and District Offices are responsible for 1,056 canals. In 2000,
the Public Works Department reported that there were 4,076 kilometers of road length in
Bangkok, which has total area of 58.45 square kilometers.
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State of Air Pollution
Bangkok is considered the center of economic growth of Thailand and has
therefore has long experienced and the impact of industrial expansion as well as a rapid
increase in population. The number of motor vehicles has significantly increased, leading
to traffic congestion and a deterioration in quality of environment. One of the most severe
environmental concerns facing our city is air pollution. It affects the quality of life of over
10 million inhabitants of the Bangkok Metropolis, including their work productivity. The
environmental deterioration brought about by the air pollution has also adversely affected
tourism and the national image, and this has resulted in both direct and indirect economic
Air pollution problems in Bangkok are mostly the result of heavy traffic
congestion and a rapid raise in the number of motor vehicles. The problems have also been
aggravated by the lack of sufficient and effective maintenance of vehicles. It has been
estimated that the number of motor vehicles in Bangkok accounts for roughly one - third of
the total number of vehicles in the country. In 2001, approximately 4.5 million cars were
registered in Bangkok, in addition to 1.8 million motorcycles. Roughly 95% of the
registered motorcycles have two stroke engines and thus are the main contributors to white
smoke and particles. Further, air pollution has also become a serious contributor to health
problems in Bangkok for over a decade, especially among the poor who are more exposed
to the pollution than other citizens. Concentration of particulates of less than 10 micron
(PM-10) and carbon monoxide (CO) in the atmosphere have been found to exceed the
acceptable standard, while the concentration of NOx hydrocarbon (HC) and ozone has been
increasing. It has been found that over 1 million citizens of the Bangkok Metropolis have
been suffered from air pollution related illnesses.
Health Effect from Air pollution
Research has revealed that health effects are associated with airborne
particulate matter in Bangkok to a similar degree as that found in other cities around the
world. The results indicate that at current PM-10 concentrations in Bangkok, there may be
as many as 4,000 to 5,500 premature deaths each year in the metropolitan area attributed to
short-term exposures to outdoor airborne particulate matter (assuming a total population of
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10 million). The Sanitary Division, Ministry of Health, has studied the effect of pollution
on health in people of various areas. The results are as follows:
A study of the effect of the particles on the respiratory system shows
both immediate and chronic symptoms in students aged between 7 - 12 years from 6 BMA
affiliated schools located in the areas with a high particle level (119.57
microgram/m3)moderate particle level (54.75 microgram/m3 ) between September 1996 -
August 1997. The results was that students in schools located in the areas with high and
moderate particle levels (size smaller than 10 micron) were affected in higher rate than
those in school in low particle level areas.
The major source of air pollution in Bangkok is undeniably from the
increasing number of vehicles. Consequently, it resulted in the traffic problems. The
people have to inhale these dangerous gases and smoke from incomplete combustion of the
engine which are detrimental to human health.
Research by Dr. Sawang Sanghiranwattana. who studied decreasing lung
capacity of Traffic Police in Bangkok found that out of 174 policemen, 30 had restricted
lungs, 11 had airway obstruction, and 3 had large airway obstruction. There were 44
policemen or 25.29% of the total, with abnormal pulmonary function.
From a Health Department survey of congested areas at Pradipat Police Station,
the air was found to have dust particles exceeding standards. The growth rate increased
from 3 percent in 1993 to 4 percent and 16 percent 1994 and 1995 respectively.
The adverse health effects of airborne fine particulate matter (PM) result in
very high costs to the community, from premature deaths, hospitalization, other health care
and lost productivity. Numerous studies have attempted to estimate the cost of PM
emissions, on a cost per ton basis, with figures ranging from US$20,000 per ton (for
hospital costs only) through to over US$500,000 per ton for the total community costs in
some high-income countries.
The results suggest that there are likely to be substantial benefits, in terms of
improved public health, productivity, and quality of life, from reducing particulate matter
in Bangkok. We have estimated that annual cost to the Bangkok area population of the
reduced health effects and quality of life improvements that would be achieved by a 20
g/m3 reduction in annual average PM-10 concentrations is likely to be between 65 and
175 billion baht (based on 1995 prices and U.S. to baht exchange rate of 1 to 25)
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 4
Fine Particulate Matter, especially PM-10 , poses a direct threat to human
health as the particles penetrate deeply into lung tissue and convey toxic substances.
Diesel emissions mostly contain carbon dust and organic carbon compounds. Small
particulate also result from the chemical reaction of sulfur dioxide gas (formed from fuel
sulfur during combustion), which oxidizes into sulfuric acid, and then reacts with ammonia
to form ammonium sulfate salt, which is abundant in Bangkok's air (Chula Unisearch,
2000). These particles, and the highly reactive chemicals that can be absorbed into the
particles, are known to be causes of respiratory, neurological, and carcinogenic health
disorders. Dust from brakepads is a major cause of lung cancer.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has been aware of the need to
tackle the air pollution problems for several years. Such a need includes the efforts to
reduce the particulate matter of less than 10 micron (PM-10) and other pollutants from
motor vehicle sources.
Air Pollution Management by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has declared the year 1999 as the
year for mitigation of air pollution through implementation of 13 measures for reduction of
air pollution problems and later, set 7 additional measures. There are several public and
private agencies, which have participated in the implementation process. They include the
Traffic Police Division of Royal Thai Police, Pollution Control Department, the
Department of Land Transport, Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, Petroleum Authority of
Thailand. The campaign for the implementation of the measures focused on building of
awareness and public participation through all forms of public relation activities between
January 1-February 28, 1999. Following implementation of the campaigning measures,
initiated on March 1, 1999, they have been assigned to the Environmental Quality
Management and Control Division, under coordination with many agencies of the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration and other relevant agencies. Twenty measures for reduction
air pollution are :
1) Setting Up Check Points
Check Points for vehicles that emit black smoke have been set up in 50 areas in
Bangkok. Officers assigned to each check point comprise officers from the Traffic Police
Division of Royal Thai Police and Environmental and Sanitation Section and Law
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Enforcement Section of the District Office. These officers have been carrying out their
tasks at the check points as indicated in the monthly operational plans.
Emission inspection at the checkpoints by the Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration has been successful to a certain level. Between March 1, 1999 and
November 2002: 532, 457 vehicles were inspected and 254,132 were found to violate the
legal emission level : accounting for 47.73%.
2) Mobile Inspection Units
Between March 1, 1999 and November 2002, 6 mobile inspection units,
organized with the cooperation with the Traffic Police Division of Royal Thai Police,
inspected 238,700 vehicles and 124,546 were found to violate the permitted emission level:
accounting for 52.18 %.
Mobile inspection units, organized with the Department of Land Transport,
Between April 1999 and August 2002 inspected 17,599 vehicles and issue bans on 1,017
vehicles : accounting for 5.78% (inspected everyday).
3) Motorcycle Units
Motorcycle units have been assigned to 50 checkpoints, to arrest the spotted
4) Pollution Free Road
A Campaign was help for cooperation from drivers, especially those without
additional passengers, to avoid heavily congested route during the peak hours. The first
phase of the campaign was implemented on Silom, Rachapralop and Paholyothin Roads.
The campaign was later extended to Arjanarong, Ramkamhang, Rama 9, Si Paya and
Now, this measure extended in terms of cooperating with the car users to avoid
passing the road with high pollution near schools, commercial areas especially in rush hour
including BMTA to set policy allow clean bus to run in inner area in Bangkok.
5) Air Quality Reporting
Air quality from 17 air quality measuring stations has been reported to the
public on the display boards of the Pollution Control Department at 4 locations, which are :
1. Wireless Intersection (Lumpini Park)
2. Lum Sumlee Intersection
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3. Lard Proa Intersection
4. Taksin intersection
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has one permanent air
and noise monitoring station and one mobile monitoring unit. The data from this
monitoring supports environmental planning and surveillance program. And now BMA
have a plan to provide more stations for air pollution monitoring especially PM-10 on the
6) Engine Inspection and Tune-Up Services
Free vehicle inspection and tune-up services have been provided by service
stations at Mechanical Maintenance Division (MMD), BMA. Moreover, there are four
vehicle inspection services under MMD. These vehicle inspection services are at Bang
Kapi, Rat Burana , Phasi Charoen,Prawet Center, providing the inspection and
7) Public Relation Campaign
Prepare boards and documents for campaigning on air pollution and its effects,
how to reduce air pollution through media such as T.V.,VDO, pamphlets manuals, leaflet
etc. Moreover, BMA together with related agencies have prepared the Bangkok State of
the Environment Report supported by UNEP that is the report for administrators and
general public aimed to promote correct understanding and awareness of environmental
problems including air pollution in Bangkok and joined the preparation of the Thailand
Environment Monitor 2002 (Air Quality) that is the report for learning the state of air
pollution, perception of the people for its effects and challenges for air pollution
8) Strictly Enforcing the Use of Covering Sheets at Construction Sites
Inspection of the use of covering sheet by the Working Group on Inspection of
Building and Infarstructure Construction implemented by district offices.
9) Strictly Enforcing the Use of Covering Sheets by trucks
Inspection of the use of covering sheets by trucks implemented by district
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10) Improvement of Road Shoulder and Controlling Road Dust
Improvement of road shoulders and controlling road dust implemented by
district offices and Department of Public Cleansing ,BMA . Control of road dust at the
sources includes road digging improvement of road surface, shoulders. At the same time
there is a need to clean roads by sweeping, vacuuming, and washing. Road cleaning
implemented in 50 districts is the most cost-effective measure in controlling dust especially
on the narrow road. In case of vacuuming, it is better to prevent the dust from dispersing.
11) Inspection of White Smoke from Motorcycles
Implemented since August 2, 1999, the inspection has experienced
considerable difficulty due to the measuring methodology that required at least 15
consecutive accelerations. The Pollution Control Department therefore made adjustments
to the inspection methodology and opted for measuring carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon
emissions. And now the adjustments in the inspection methodology have already finished
and come into effect.
12) Car Free Road
BMA has launched project by closing Silom Road on every Sunday to save
energy and reduce air pollution problems Dr.Phongpisit Wisetkul, Director of Energy
Conservation and Alternative Energy, National Energy Policy Office (NEPO) said that the
result of closing Silom Road implemented from Sunday 15th November to 31st December,
2002 found that People reduce using private car by using BTS service instead, increasing
299% or from 7,593 persons to 30,265 persons and can reduce air pollution problems more
than 50% including CO; from 5-3.9 PPM/hour to 2.4-0.9 PPM/hour and particulate matter
10 microns in diameter and smaller from 95.1 ug/hour to 56.0 ug/hour.
Besides, from poll with people joining this campaign found that 85% agree
with this campaign and 81% think that this project helps save energy, 86% think that it can
reduce air pollution, 79% think that it is a tourism promotion and 87% think that it should
be continually held every Sunday.
13) Improvement of Fuel Quality
The Office of National Energy Policy has formulated a 10 - year policy on
improvement of fuel quality. Commencing in 1993, implementation of the policy includes
study on collection of used engine oil for disposal and eradication of counterfeit fuel.
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Inspection of fuel quality has been regularly conducted or carried out upon
request by Fuel Division, Department of Trade Registration.
(1) Increasing cetane number, oxygenated compounds content.
(2) Decreasing density, polyaromatics content and vapor pressure of gasoline.
(3) Deduction of 90% volume distilled temperature of diesel.
14) Special Engine Devices
The following four devices have been supported by the private sectors. They
aim to reduce the emission of black exhaust and enhance engine performance. They are:
(1) Power Jet
Power Jet is a device to reduce the emission of black exhaust. It is
installed next to the exhaust pipe. It aims to compress the exhaust gasses produced within
the combustion chamber in order to ignite and burn the fuel more efficiently (achieve
Price : The power jet is approximately 5,000 baht. Vehicles of all sizes
and engine capacity can make of it.
(2) Device for Preheating Fuel
This is a device designed to heat fuel by using hot water taken from the
radiator tank of a vehicle, before it enters the injection pump. The aim is to increase the
temperature of the fuel, which is mixed with air in the combustion chamber, and achieve
more complete combustion with less waste gasses.
Price approximately 2,000 baht only to install in a pick - up truck with a
capacity not in excess of 3,000 c.c. or other kinds of vehicles depending on its size.
(3) Magnetic Device
This is a magnetic device, which rearrange the molecules of the fuel as it
is injected into the combustion chamber, to cause it to mix more throughly with air and
burn more completely. It is installed an the pipe leading to the injection pump.
Price : approximately 6,000 baht (on a pick - up truck)
(4) Catalytic Converter
This is a device in the exhaust system of a motor vehicle, containing a
catalyst for converting pollutant gasses into less harmful ones. It consists of an exhaust
pipe in the from of ceramic cells coated with rhodium and other elements. This absorbs
heat from the exhaust and raises the temperature up to 3000c, promoting oxidation of
hydrocarbons and carbondioxide, thus reducing the black exhaust at air pollution.
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Price : approximately 8,000 - 25,000 baht, depending on the sizes of
vehicle. (on a pick - up truck)
The Power Jet to reduce black exhaust gasses have been tested on 13
August 2000 at the City Hall, Bangkok. After one month of tying them out a questionnaire
was distributed and 43 responses provided the following results on five aspects:
(2) Engine temperature
(3) Fuel consumption
(4) Black emissions
(5) Speed of vehicles
It was discovered that acceleration increased, fuel consumption and emission
were reduced (from observation), but engine temperature and speed remained the same.
15) Green Fleets Program
Greens Fleets is a voluntary program designed to reduced vehicle emission
from municipal fleets. A seven - step process describes how to "green" a fleet by choosing
from a list of strategies and methods that include:
(1) Travel reduction
(2) Clean, more efficient vehicles and/or fuel purchases
(3) Preventive vehicle maintenance
Seven step to develop a Green Fleet Program :
(1) Determine the Basis for an Ordinance or Executive Order
(2) Establish the best policy tool to implement a Green Fleet Program
(3) Establish a Green Fleet Executive Committee ( Car Pool Committee,
Engine Inspection and Maintenance Committee, Public Relation and Campaigning
(4) Appoint a Green Fleet Director
(5) Establish a protocol for conducting a fleet inventory of the BMA
(6) Outline the Green Fleet strategies that will be employed by Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA)
(7) Define Technical or Confusing Terms within the Policy
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Assistance in implementing these steps has been obtained from the United
States Environment Protection Agency(USEPA), including developing pilot project,
providing institutional support and incentives, and developing projects to assist the general
public. Support, assistance and funding will come from the USEPA in Denver and San
From a range of potential activities for the BMA, several have already been
implemented, and examples are;
(1) Providing buses for transporting BMA staff
(2) Encouraging staff and general public to use mass transit
(3) Car pooling for BMA employee
(4) Setting up standards for vehicle purchase (developing engine
specifications for lower emissions)
(5) Changing engines on BMA vehicles to lower emission engines and
promoting cleaner and more efficient motorcycles and other vehicles
(6) Enforcement of existing regulations
(7) Changing behavior and using cars only when necessary
(8) Promoting public awareness of air pollution and vehicle issues
(9) Installing equipment such as catalytic converter to reduce air pollution
(10) Promoting the GIS map to cheek the best way and efficient routing of
vehicles to save time and energy for travel
(11) Use the same car for District in the same area to send the document by
using GIS map
An Implementations' workshop was held from 31 May to 1 June 2001 attended
by about 40 key persons from outside the BMA and heads of sections of the BMA itself.
The Workshop's goal were to:
(1) Develop a full understanding of what Green Fleets is and how it works
in the USA
(2) Outline implementation steps
(3) Identify potential Green Fleets pilot projects for the BMA
BMA has also expand the implementation of the Green Fleet Project to cover
private and government vehicles as well as motorcycle. For government vehicles, training
of official will be provided to follow these step;
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(1). Training on automotive mechanics as well as checking by check list
before start the engine and maintenance.
(2) Bringing the vehicles for inspection periodically as specified in the
vehicle maintenance manual.
(3) Maintaining the engine to be in good condition and free -from pollution.
On 9 - 11 July 2002,BMA has set up the workshop on “Green Procurement”
for BMA ’s staffs being responsible for vehicle procurement. BMA has been processing in
preparing the manual for purchasing vehicles.
16) Increasing Green Area in Bangkok
The BMA administrators has placed the priority on this project in order to
expand and increase the green areas within the Bangkok Metropolis by encouraging and
supporting the involvement of various sectors, both governmental and non-governmental
organization to grow trees on various vacant plots of land by leasing system. This aims to
reduce air pollution in the remarkable. A successful project is the area under King Rama III
Bridge in Bang Khor Lam District. Moreover, various organizations have cooperated such
as Bayer Thai Company Limited., stakeholders and the public.
At present, there are 1,180 parks in Bangkok with an area of approximately
12.6 sq.km. (average approximately 2.2 sq.m/person) . Bangkok has approximately
4,578,678 trees. The target for the next 4 years (2005), is to provide green area in the
average approximately 2.5 sq.m./person and increase the number of trees with 450,000
trees to 1 million trees in total.
At the present, BMA had launched the growing the trees along roadside acting
as a wall to mitigate the effect from emission, initiated on Dinso Road as pilot road.
17) Issued the Executive Order in Energy Conservation Policy with the
(1) Regularly maintain the fleet vehicles as recommeded by the vehicle
(2) Switching off the engine while parking
(3) Minimize use of vehicles and promote telecommunication
(4) Establish more efficient routing of vehicles by introducing the GIS map
(5) Promote carpooling between BMA offices
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18) Motorcycle Fleet Upgrade to Reduce Air Pollution in Bangkok
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration with the World Bank, Motorcycle
Manufacturers, Petroleum Product Producers, Thailand Motor Vehicle Industry
Association and relevant agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for
cooperation on abatement of air pollution from motorcycles, on April 21, 2000. Under the
MOU, activities have been organized to improve environmentally sound performance of
motorcycles including reduction of emission, fuel efficiency and effective combustion.
The BMA has set up activities such as :
(1) Motorcycle Clinics to reduce the air pollution from the fleet of in- use
motorcycles and increase public awareness in the air pollution from motorcycles by setting
up at Bangkok Waste Re-use Center on May 15-17, 2000 , at the Military Academy on
July 10-12, 2000, at Suanchalerm Prakrait, Khlong San on 13-15 December 2000 and latest
at Bangkok Waste Re-use Center on April 2-4 , 2001. At each of the four events, the totals
of 5,113 motorcycles were inspected, 4076 were found to be environmentally sound while
1,037 failed the test. Owners of 260 motorcycles expressed their interest to participate in
the motorcycle exchange program. Thirty-two motorcycles have already been exchanged
for the program.
(2) Organizing the meeting with related motorcycle agencies such as BMA,
PCD, LCD, Traffic Police, World Bank, Government Savings Bank(GSB), Education
Institute , NGOs , Kenan Institute Asia, Thai Industrial Standards institute (TISI) and
Thailand Automotive Institute etc. The objective is to get the support, increase more
cooperation and other comments about the Bangkok Motorcycle Upgrade Project on
March 30 , 2001 at Royal Princess Hotel, Bangkok.
(3) Organizing for a seminar manufacturers of motorcycle,
Manufacturers, dealers, motorcycle users and related agencies in Bangkok.
The objective to give knowledge about inspection and maintenance of
motorcycles, including brainstorming on how to solve the air pollution from motorcycles, a
seminar was held on May 30, 2001 at the Bangkok Metropolitan Youth Center (Thai-
Japanese) , Din Dang District for 1,200 participants and divided into 50 groups discussion.
BMA has set up the campaign activity on how to reduce emission from
motorcycles by distributing the manual for taking care of the motorcycles to mitigate air
pollution and to provide recommendations in 50 district areas.
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19) Alleviation of Emission from Public Bus
(1) The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has submitted a formal letter to
BMTA (Bangkok Mass Transit Authority) requesting the cooperation from its to improve
and amend the terms of concession private company to operate mass transportation to
prevent the use of old vehicles.
(2) Suggesting to BMTA to addendum the terms of concession for operation of
bus line by private company by
1) The private company receiving concession must hire entrepreneur to
maintenance vehicle to prevent pollution problems.
2) Any mass transit vehicle receives two notices from inspection for the
violation of black-smoke, will suspended for six months. After such vehicle return to
operation and get the third notice, the company will prohibit to use the vehicle permanently.
20) Test the use of fuel mixed of Bio-Diesel and Diesel in Bangkok Mass
transit Authority (BMTA)'s vehicles.
Due to the high price of gasoline and tremendous volume of import by the
Kingdom of Thailand yearly as well as surplus of agriculture products in the market and
theirs relatively low prices, resulting in the search of new fuel alternatives, particularly, in
agricultural products. Ethanol Bio-Diesel Alternative Energy Institute Foundation of
Thailand , Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Bangkok Mass Transit Authority,
Petroleum Authority of Thailand, The Office of National Energy Policy, Office of Natural
Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resource and
Environment and Raja-Bio Diesel Company Limited decide to have the joint-project by
transforming vegetable oil to become fuel. That is one of the research choice in finding
energy alternative. In Thailand, there are various types of vegetable oil, which can be used
as raw material of Bio-Diesel production.
From the previous study, it is discovered that Bio-Diesel fuel can be used very
well as Diesel alternative as well as good for the environment. This fuel alternative does
not have any carcinogen or sulfur composition. Thus, the resulting emissions have smaller
amount of pollutant than the Diesel counter part. In addition, it is discovered that Bio-
Diesel can be used as chemical additive to enhance the lubricating property of low sulfur
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 14
(1) Test the use of fuel mixed of Bio-Diesel and Diesel in Bangkok Mass
transit Authority (BMTA)'s vehicles.
(2) Study and collect data on environmental impact of Using Bio-Diesel
(3) Publicize and create awareness and understanding to the public on
the use of Bio-Diesel
(4) Support agricultural industry
Problems in Managing Air Quality in Bangkok
The problems in implementing the management of air quality in Bangkok are
mostly due to worsening air pollution problems and the economic crisis, which limits
allocation of public funding. These problems and obstructions can be listed as follows :
1. Problems in Public Sector
(1) Local agencies, especially the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, do
not have full authority in managing air quality.
(2) Limited public funding which adversely affects improvement of public
buses and capacity building of the officials.
(3) Implementation of policies especially promotion of natural gas
consumption while insufficient service stations is still a problem.
(4) Public relations of governmental agencies lack independence and
(5) Inefficient public transport systems. Incapable of fulfilling public needs.
2. Problems in Private Sector and General Public
(1) Limited funding for improvement of private buses.
(2) Private Inspection stations are unable to meet acceptable standards
due to limited funding and labor force and ineffective inspection.
(3) Lack of awareness of participation in solving air pollution problems.
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Results of the Implementation of Management of Air Quality in Bangkok by using
activities like setting up Check Points, the related agencies meeting on air pollution
manangement,motorcycle clinics, the key agencies concerning motorcycle upgrade
workshop and the motorcycle stakeholder seminar, BMA will take all the comments and
suggestions into consideration as well as strengthen the cooperation between the BMA,
World Bank, private and public sectors, and relevant governmental agencies in order to
solve the air pollution problem. However, public participation, public information and
capacity building in relevant governmental agencies are important factors to achieve the
common objective - Clean Air
The standard for air quality watch and various studies must be continued in order to
get more information for the decision making process on solving the air pollution problems
as well as encouraging all stakeholders and the people’s participation in order to achieve
the BMA objective of "Health for All".
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has long recognized the necessity for
continuous reduction of air pollution in our metropolis to mitigate its impacts on public
health. The improvement in air quality in Bangkok has been included by the national
government in the policy an protection of public health formulated in accordance to the
7th National Economic and Social Development Plan (1992-1996). The policy
recommended clear measures for management and improvement of the air quality
including an increase in number of roads, traffic improvement, development of public
transport systems, reduction of lead in gasoline and improvement of fuel quality. Although
some measures, such as the use of unleaded gasoline nationwide in 1999, have been very
successful, some measures under responsibility of several agencies have not been effective
due to a lack of harmonization, independence and insufficient coordination. In the 9th
National Economic and Social Development Plan (2002-2006) supports was provided for
continuous implementation of capacity building for environmental improvement. However,
such support was neither sufficient nor effective due to the economic crisis facing the
country at the time. The 6th Bangkok Development Plan (2002-2006) and BKK Agenda 21
share the same objectives with those of the 9th National Economic and social
Development plan regarding regulation of urban growth and development, improvement
of the quality of life and the environment, and provision of sufficient social services for the
All BMA tasks are being implemented under Bangkok Agenda 21 CONTENT:
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The Bangkok Agenda 21 :
1. The strategy for a more SUSTAINABLE BANGKOK
- a better place to live.
2. Leading URBAN ECONOMY towards sustainability.
3. Using URBAN PLANNING to improve quality of life in Bangkok.
4. REORGANIZING TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT
to raise quality of air and neighborhoods.
5. INVESTING IN GREEN URBAN AREAS.
6. USING URBAN PUBLIC SERVICES
to make Bangkok A CLEAN CITY.
7. Focus on GOOD GOVERNANCE in BMA
to meet the challenges of the future.
8. Easy access to INFORMATION in BMA.
9. HUMAN RESOURCES as a strategic tool in SOCIAL and ECONOMIC
10. INVOLVING the CITIZENS in the development of A BETTER
The 6th Bangkok Development Plan (2002-2006), the Work Plan for Prevention
and Solution of Air and Noise Pollution including :
1. Control and reduce emission of particulate matter from the sources to the
2. Monitor air pollution quality covering the Bangkok areas.
3. Promote to use the clean technology by adapting BMA vehicles to use low
4. Raise public awareness on air pollution problem in cluding the impact and
promote public participation.
5. Promote the Mass transit instead of private car.
6. Cooperate with LTD to inspection and penalty the owner.
As a result of our past responses, air quality in Bangkok areas has
demonstrated improvements. The level of particulates that used to exceed the standard by
ten folds in 1992 has declined to the current level, which is below the standard. The result
proves that these implemented measures have been satisfactorily successful.
While overall air quality has improved, it is still a problem in traffic
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 17
corridor in Bangkok City. The public perception that air quality has not improved. This
perception is often a deterrent to tourism and foreign investment.
The achievement on air pollution management in Bangkok does not rely on
the work of the BMA alone but also the cooperation among the public and related agencies.
Therefore, gaining public participation is one of vital keys to attain our goal.
The challenges in solving air pollution problem in Bangkok is:
1. Tackling the unfinished agenda in Bangkok
PM remains a major public health threat in Bangkok, with concentration
levels exceeding standard. There are several million gross polluters-very old diesel
vehicle that are continually rebuilt or older two - stroke motorcycles.
The main features of plan follows:
- Inspection and Maintenance(I/M).
- Join hands to introduce incentive schemes for users to replace their
two-stroke motorcycles with four-stroke.
- Control of road dust
2. Improving air quality management.
3. Improving public transport and traffic management.
4. Strengthening institutional effectiveness.
5. Improved Inter Agency Coordination.
6. Broadening Public participation.
The plan for BMA to tackle air pollution in Bangkok :
1. Setting up the checkpoints for vehicles that emit black smoke in
cooperation with the traffic police and the department of Land Transport
2. Air Quality Monitoring in Bangkok
3. Set up the Engine Inspection and Tune-up Services Station
4. Public Relation Campaign to raise awareness in air pollution
5. Improvement of road shoulders and controlling road dust
6. Inspection of white smoke from motorcycles
7. Increasing green areas in Bangkok
8. Improvement the Green Fleet Program supported by USEPA and
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 18
9. Cooperate with the Ministry of Energy, PTT Public Company Limited,
the Car Manufacturers to set up the tune-up services to save the energy
and reduce emission at landmarks areas in Bangkok by launching on
15 February 2003 (the 3 – month project)
10. Promote the studies about the air pollution effects with education
11. Prepare the Bangkok State of the Environment Report 2003 supported
12. Improving Management and Supporting Guidelines Air Pollution in
Bangkok by co-operation between Athens and Bristol Cities.
13. Implement the Environment Protection Volunteer Project
14. Other projects to promote reducing the air pollution
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 19
1. Bangkok Air Quality Management Project
Parsons International Limited (Parsons), its subcontractors, and local Thai
consultants have developed an Bangkok Air Quality Management Plan (BAQMP), which
provides the framework and basis for the proposed World Bank proposed "Bangkok Air
Quality Management Project". The work was performed for the Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) with financial assistance from the World Bank.
The Bangkok Air Quality Management Plan development is an outgrowth
of previous air pollution abatement studies for the City of Bangkok, which identified the
following strategic objectives as keys in improving Bangkok's air quality:
1. Designing practical methods to address the PM-10 problem in the next
3 to 5 years;
2. Developing a phased approach that would identify medium to longer-term
measures to combat air pollution in Bangkok;
3. Prioritizing, designing, and conducting studies to improve available knowledge
of the next series of pollutants to be targeted after PM -10 ; and
4. Increasing awareness and local knowledge on the issue.
The BAQMP focuses on the first of the above objectives, while initiating
actions to address the other three. Priority project actions are to cost-effectively:
Reduce particulate emissions from buses, trucks, two-stroke motor cycles and
Control the resuspension of road and construction dust; and
Control other significant point sources.
The BAQMP presents the results of review, study, and recommendation of the
1. Transport Source Control
2. Transport Management
3. Road Dust and Other Sources Control
4. Air Quality Monitoring
5. Capacity Building
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 20
The BAQMP also analyses economic values and recommends financial
arrangement methods for the proposed project implementation. In addition, a procurement
package for each proposed project to be undertaken during the first phase of BAQMP
implementation was prepared.
Recommendations from the Project
Transportation Source Control
The remedies to excessive PM pollution can be clearly identified, but some some
major implementation challenges. The most effective measures, if properly implemented,
Encouragement of more effective and frequent maintenance of diesel and
motorcycle engines, through public education programs backed up by
mandatory periodic and random emissions testing.
Incentives to replace or re-manufacture existing vehicles or engines to comply
with more stringent emission standards, especially high-mileage vehicle groups
such as buses and urban trucks.
Programs or incentives to fit devices that remove particulates from the exhaust
stream (e.g. particulate traps or exhaust catalysts).
Introduction of cleaner diesel fuels, especially through the removal of
particulate-producing sulfur from the fuel
Encouragement of the substitution of diesel with other fuel types, for example
compressed or liquefied natural gas (CNG or LNG), liquefied petroleum gas
(LPG), or introduce fuel systems that blend one of the above alternative fuels
with traditional diesel, with the mixture burned in an otherwise unmodified
Bus Sub -Program
The principle aim of the Bus Sub-Program is to implement a public transport
improvement program that will integrate mass transit services as quickly as possible for
Bangkok. The key elements of this program will include the following concepts:
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 21
Implement bus and other passenger transfer facility plans for selected Bangkok
Mass Transit System (BTS ) and Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority
(MRTA) stations to provide convenient and safe transfers;
Implement extensive full-time exclusive bus lanes/busways in the major travel
corridors that feed into the current and upcoming mass transit stations;
Introduce "Trunk Bus Line" services that operate entirely or almost entirely on
the major corridor bus lanes/busways;
Implement a localized bus lane network in the Central Area of Bangkok that is
served by the BTS and MRTA masstransfer lines;
Introduce "Circular Feeder/Distributor Shuttle Bus Line" services for the mass
transit stations in Central Bangkok,
Introduce an integrated electronic public transport fare collection system for
Re-evaluate and restructure the existing bus route system; and
Conduct a study on institutional reforms for public transport operations and
Bus lane/busway projects were identified by considering the following factors.
The bus volumes serving the corridor;
Level of congestion in the corridor,
The proximity of the corridor in relation to MRTA and BTS stations;
Maximizing geographic coverage by the bus lanes/busways and service to busy
commercial areas/shopping centers;
Roadway geometric design characteristics, particularly the cross-sectional
Existing bus lanes.
The traffic operations and control problems in Bangkok go well beyond the
technical issues of traffic engineering facilities. The problems also include institutional
issues and training education issues for Traffic Police operations in Bangkok.There is no
doubt that Bangkok needs to complete the Area Traffic Control system that Department of
Traffic and Transportation (DTT) is currently implementing. However, it is equally
important to simultaneously implement institutional reforms and traffic operations training
for Police agencies. Therefore, for the "Sub-Program for Improvement of Traffic
Operations and Controls", the following activities have been identified:
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 22
1. Continuation of the Area Traffic Control (ATC) System
Continuing the ATC System Project will allow Bangkok to continue modernizing
its traffic surveillance and signal control facilities. Completing and expanding this system
will provide the proper tools for effective traffic operations and control once the users of
the system learn to appreciate its functions. As part of the ATC Project's continuation, a
number of issues need to be re-evaluated and its project content should be updated. These
The need for more mid-block signal controls for safe at-grade pedestrian
The need for coordination and information exchange of expressway traffic
operations with the ATC system; and
The need for more real time traveler information to be made available to
the road users.
2. Traffic Police Training
To allow the ATC System to perform its intended functions and to enhance the
traffic enforcement operations, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver structured
short courses for the Traffic Police. These short courses will specifically include education
on the following issues:
The proper role of manual signal system control by traffic police, especially
during the peak periods;
The utility or effectiveness of the traffic control center as a command and
control resource for incident management;
The utility of the traffic surveillance system as a tool for directing traffic
regulation enforcement operations; and
The importance of pedestrian and traffic safety, and integrity of bus
3. The Traffic Operations and Control Institutional Reform
The proposed Traffic Operations and Control Institutional Reform Project
essentially calls for a focused study on how the interaction between the traffic engineering
operations of DTT and the traffic control and enforcement operations of the Police can be
improved. The institutional issues that will be addressed in the study include:
Identifying and evaluating institutional structures that would improve
accountability of all traffic operations and control activities to the DTT or the
Governor of Bangkok.
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 23
Identifying and evaluating institutional procedures, especially key traffic police
personnel assignment and approval procedures that would improve
accountability of all traffic operations and control activities to the DTT or the
Governor of Bangkok.
Road Dust and Other Sources Control
The initiative by BMA to privatize road-cleaning operation shows successful
results in reducing road dust effectively both in terms of total dust and silt loading, and in a
more cost - efficient manner than conducting road cleaning operations itself. Therefore, the
Local Consultant recommends that BMA expand the role of private companies in road
cleaning, eventually contracting our all road cleaning operations. BMA's role would then
become that of supervising and monitoring the road cleaning operations conducted by the
The BAQMP proposed that the crematorium retrofit/installation program be
implemented per the following schedule:
Year 1 - Develop and finalize design requirements. Develop a site selection
process for the first 20 units to be installed during the second program year, in a
cooperative process with BMA and Ministry of Industry (MOI)
Year 2 - Procure, install and source test 20 units at sites selected by the
BMA/MOI cooperative process, with the participation and agreement of the
affected temples. Refine and conduct an ongoing operator-training program
for newly retrofitted facilities.
Year 3 - Procure and install 60 units using the same process as above.
Year 4 - Procure and install 65 units using the same process as above.
PCD has proposed crematorium standards to the Enviromnental Committee.
These proposed standards include the following terms, which should be adopted:
Two combustion chambers with modulating burners;
LPG or natural gas-fueled;
Residence time in the second chamber not less than 1 second, with a
temperature not less than 1,000 C, and automatic temperature recording in the
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 24
Automatic temperature monitoring in both chambers and automatic temperature
recording in the second chamber;
Photoelectric opacity sensors;
Be able to meet the emissions limits of. Particulate matter 100 mg/m3; SO2 100
mg/m3; NOx 100 mg/m3 ; CO 100 ppm; opacity 10%. Provide any additional
emission controls necessary to meet these requirements;
Combustion capacity not less than 45 kilograms per hour;
Implement other requirements including proper operating procedures (such as
preheating the second chamber to 900'C before beginning cremation),
appropriate remains and containers/objects to be cremated, provisions to
retrofit existing equipment where possible, safety requirements including
interlocks, operator training requirements, maintenance, and record keeping
Standards would have the flexibility to be made more stringent for facilities
located near residences.
Air Quality Monitoring
Based on the review of current air quality monitoring programs, the following work
is recommended by the International Consultant Team:
Delineate the roles for monitoring and responsibility for reporting data;
Evaluate the representativeness and number of monitoring stations;
Obtain an external quality assurance review of the station operations in the
BMA and assess the quality of the data collected with regard to siting,
operations and maintenance of equipment;
Identify the optimum number of monitoring locations and monitoring goals;
Update and expand the use of public display boards
To strengthen the capacity of BMA in managing air quality within the City of
Establishing an air quality management unit within BMA organization.
Improving administrative procedures such as contract administration, bank
loans management, cash disbursement processes, communication skills, etc.
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 25
Providing adequate staff training.
Providing adequate safety measures to staff assigned to work in the field
Imposing an air pollution abatement effort as a City's agenda.
Considering incorporating the BAQMP into the Agenda 21 Program.
Establishing an on-going performance evaluation program monitor the
effectiveness of the proposed implementation plan
2. Improving Management and Supporting Guidelines in Air
Quality in Metropolitan Cities (Asia Urbs Programme)
The most important mobile source of air pollution in Bangkok are automobile and
motorcycles along with emissions form industry. The results form these and other tests
showed for Bangkok that the average concentration of most of the pollutants monitored is
at the warning level of national standards.
Ambient lead levels have dropped sharply since the phase-out of leaded gasoline
and the average concentration in 1998 was 0.08 g/m3 (almost 20 times less than the 1991
levels). The annual mean total suspended particles (TSP) averaged 480 g/m3 from 1988 to
1997, exceeding the annual average standard of 330 g/m3, while the TSP in non-traffic
dominated sites was 100 g/m3.
Particulates smaller than 10 microns remain above the standard level of 120 g/m3.
In 1998 the daily standard for PM was exceeded 12 percent at the monitor stations; major
sources for this are industrial boilers (29 percent) motor vehicles (23 percent) and re-
entrained dust form roads (33 percent).
Air quality data form monitoring stations are presented in Thailand on the central
Pollution Control Department (PCD) web site, but there is at present a limited public
information system and very limited health advice on the effects of air pollution on health.
To improve management and supporting guidelines in air quality towards a more
sustainable urban environment in metropolitan area. To develop and enhance local air
quality management and related awareness programs within local authorities and
stakeholders. To enhance, within the two years duration, capabilities in the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 26
Develop options for improving air quality in the long-term; developing information
dissemination strategies and materials relating to air pollution and risk assessments;
establishing stakeholder information to assist the exchange of air quality information;
implementing action in relation to risk estimates and precautionary approaches, local
management and supporting guidelines and public awareness’ preparing training modules
and new procedures for BMA personnel.
To deliver a project which will enhance understanding and co-operation
between European (Greece and United Kingdom) and Asian (Thailand)
To share results, recent information and dissemination of experience and
knowledge between partner authorities.
To establish and build durable links with local communities, public/private
sectors and target groups to improve the quality of air, and facilitate
cooperation and partnerships.
3. Environment Protection Volunteer Project
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has set up the Environment
Protection Volunteer (EPV) Project to promote cooperation and exchange the experience
among BMA, education institute and the people in the community to enhance public
participation in environmental preservation.
1. Arrange the meeting to brainstorm among the Environment Protection
2. Set up the training about environment to the Environment Protection
Volunteer for acting as the key person to educate the people within
the community covering the 50 district areas.
3. Prepare the manual for the Environment Protection Volunteer and pamphlets
Now this project has produced the EPV Newsletter as a media for the public to learn the
activities in the project.
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 27
4. Check up and Tune up the Engine to Save the Energy
This Project is the cooperation of the Ministry of Energy, BMA, the PTT Public
Company Limited and the Car Manufacturers to set up the tune-up services to save the
energy and reduce emission.
1. Campaign the project via the media to give the information about the project to
the public to join the project.
2. Set up the stations to tune up the engine for free at 3 landmarks areas in
3. Change the oil for free
4. Give the recommendations in taking care of the vehicle to save the energy and
reduce the emission
It takes 3 months to implement the project by launching on 15 February 2003.
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 28
ect by launching on 15 February 2003.
Bangkok Air Pollution : Situation and BMA Management p. 28