Characterisation and enhancement of low-cost optical particle counters for air pollution monitoring in diverse environments

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: School of Public Health


Respirable particulate matter (PM) is a global health concern and
large environmental risk factor for morbidity and mortality which
disproportionately affects developing countries, women and
children. Measuring PM accurately is technically challenging.
Current methods require significant resources to maintain and
modern analytical methods are unable to detect the spatial
inhomogeneity of PM concentrations in urban environments.
Technological advancements have miniaturised detection methods,
reduced costs and increased portability. Therefore, there is a
potential for increased spatial and temporal measurements.
Laboratory and field evaluations of low-cost optical particle
counters (OPC) show significant artefacts from meteorological
variables such as relative humidity (RH) and physicochemical
variables such as chemical composition and size distribution. These
variables can change over short distances in urban environments
and this project aims to characterise low-cost OPC's against a suite
of state-of-the-art reference instrumentation in diverse
London has two atmospheric supersites that's allows for evaluation
to uniquely take place concurrently at kerbside and urban
background locations. Additionally, an indoor campaign will take
place at a dwelling. This will uniquely provide a diverse range of
aerosol physical and chemical properties that the OPC technology
will be exposed to. An international location will be sought to assess
the correction algorithm and issues facing OPC's in diverse and
extreme environments. The above approach will provide a full
characterisation of three different low-cost OPC's in environments
where they are most likely to be situated. This project will deliver a
novel correction algorithm based on aerosol chemistry as well as
evidence-based recommendations for future assessment of this
new technology.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/R012148/1 30/09/2017 31/12/2024
1756140 Studentship NE/R012148/1 30/09/2017 25/07/2022 Stefan Gillott
NE/W503198/1 31/03/2021 30/03/2022
1756140 Studentship NE/W503198/1 30/09/2017 25/07/2022 Stefan Gillott