We work with state-of-the art air quality testing equipment that is built in the UK.
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Our air quality monitoring technologies are centred on the NAQTS V1000, which has the following key measurement capabilities:
The NAQTS V1000 measures ultrafine particles (UFPs) suspended in the air with a Condensation Particle Counter (CPC). Our device counts all the particles in the air below 2.5μm by passing them through a laser beam, and measuring a pulse of scattered light that is generated by each particle. Many particles are so small that they are not visible under normal light and are typically 1000-10,000x smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair. Condensing a solvent onto the surface grows the particles: This process is analogous to what happens in a cloud: water condenses on very small particles in the atmosphere.
The smaller-sized particles – those 10 micrometers or less in diameter- tend to pose the greatest health concern because they can get deep into the lungs. These microscopic particles include:
• UFPs that are less than 0.1 micrometers (typically man-made and generated from high temperature / pressure combustion, for example from vehicles) can reach deep into the lung and may be absorbed into the blood stream or cause lung problems.
• Fine particles (also known as secondary particles) are formed in the atmosphere due to both the chemical and physical processes that take place with the interactions of primary gaseous emissions (again the main source is the vehicle).
• Coarse particles above 2.5μm in diameter and are trapped by mucus in the upper airways.
Larger particles – those greater than 10 micrometers in diameter – can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. But they are less likely to cause more serious problems since they usually do not get down into the lungs.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is, for example, a by-product of the incomplete burning of fuels. Carbon monoxide is produced when fossil fuels are burned, from cigarette smoke and from human and animal breathing. Outside, the principal source of CO pollution in largest urban areas is the car. To measure CO, we use a combination of metal oxide and electrochemical sensors.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is measured using the standardized method of non-dispersive infrared (NDIR). NDIR works by passing infrared light through a target gas in a measurement chamber. As the concentration of CO2 changes, the corresponding light intensity is measured using the Beer-Lambert law to determine gas concentration. We use the Sense Air K30. The detector incorporates an optical filter, so that it eliminates all light except the wavelength that the selected gas molecule can absorb. The sensor is maintenance free in normal environments, thanks to an in-built correcting ABC algorithm (Automatic Baseline Correction). This algorithm constantly keeps track of the sensor’s lowest reading over a 7 ½ days interval and slowly corrects for any long-term drift detected as compared to the expected fresh air value of 400 ppm CO2.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) along with particles in the air can often be seen as a reddish-brown layer over many urban areas. Nitrogen oxides form when fuel is burned at high temperatures and thus the primary sources of NOx are motor vehicles, electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial, and residential sources that burn fuels. To measure NO2, we use a combination of metal oxide and electrochemical sensors.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Some common examples include: Acetone, Benzene, Ethylene glycol, Formaldehyde, Methylene chloride, Perchloroethylene, Toluene, Xylene and 1,3-butadiene. To measure VOCs we use a metal oxide sensor, as well as the V1000 provides space for four thermal desorption tubes for GC-MS.
Ozone and Ammonia We use MOS technology utilizing state of the art MEMS technology to also measure Ozone and Ammonia. This is done by combining a specialized nanoparticle sensing layer with a patented poly-silicon heater. This unique design creates a highly sensitive and responsive semiconductor sensor, manufactured on an automotive production line for outstanding quality and performance. These sensors are easily capable to detect and measure combustible and pollution gasses in parts per billion (PPB) and are suitable for many environmental, automotive and industrial applications worldwide. These devices measure the various pollutants by targeted reactions on the surface that result in a change of resistance that can be measured using our electronics.
Environmental Conditions and Location
We measure temperature, pressure and humidity with a Bosch – BME280 sensor. The unit combines individual high linearity, high accuracy sensors for pressure, humidity and temperature, designed for low current consumption, long term stability and high EMC robustness. Vibration is measured using both a 3D Gyro and a 3D accelerometer. Noise is measured with a decibel meter. Location is measured with a GPS.
The indoor noise levels reported in dBA can be measured in real-time using the integrated WENSN WS1361 digital sound decibel dose measurement meter. This equipment has been designed to meet the measurement requirement of noise measurements in the environment and workplace. Measuring range is 30-130dba or 35-130dbc and frequency weighting is A and C time weighting.
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