Science Inventory

Field Test of Several Low-Cost Particulate Matter Sensors in High and Low Concentration Urban Environments


Johnson, K., M. Bergin, A. Russell, AND G. Hagler. Field Test of Several Low-Cost Particulate Matter Sensors in High and Low Concentration Urban Environments. AEROSOL AND AIR QUALITY RESEARCH . Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research , Taichung City, Taiwan, 18(3):565-578, (2018).


This article describes a Georgia Tech/Duke study involving deploying low cost particle sensors in two different environments - Atlanta, Georgia and Hydrabad, India. This article demonstrates how the sensors perform under very different concentration loads. EPA's role in this project has been as a technical advisor. Measurements were conducted independently by the university.


Air quality is a growing public concern in both developed and developing countries, as is the public interest in having information on air pollutant concentrations within their communities. Quantifying the spatial and temporal variability of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is of particular importance due to the well-defined health impacts associated with PM2.5. In this work, a number of select PM sensors (Shinyei: models PPD42NS, PPD20V, PPD60PV) were evaluated under a variety of ambient conditions and locations including urban background and roadside sites in Atlanta, GA, as well as substantially higher ambient concentrations in Hyderabad, India. Low cost sensor measurements were compared against reference monitors at all locations. On-road emissions factors were calculated at the Atlanta site by pairing PM2.5 and separately determined black carbon (BC) and carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements. On-road emission factors can vary in different locations and over time for a number of reasons, including vehicle fleet composition and driving patterns and behaviors. Current environmental policy and regulations can provide valuable information to researchers, citizens, and policy makers. The PPD20V sensors had the highest correlation with the reference environmental beta attenuation monitor (E-BAM) with R2 values above 0.80 at the India site while at the urban background site, the PPD60PV had the highest correlation with the tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) with an R2 value of 0.30. At the roadside site, only the PPD20V was used, with an R2 value against the TEOM of 0.18. Emissions factors at the roadside site were calculated as 0.39 ± 0.10 g PM2.5 per kg fuel and 0.11 ± 0.01g BC per kg fuel. The results of this work show the potential usefulness of these sensors for high concentration applications in developing countries and for their use in generating emissions factors.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 10/27/2018
Record Last Revised: 07/23/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 343051