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New method for identifying airborne particles discovered

 

Researchers from Japan’s Kanazawa University have found a method for identifying the sources of particulate matter.

The study was designed to identify different sources of particulate matter that cause pollution in urban areas.

It involves deciding the ration of compounds that are formed at different combustion temperatures.

The research team aimed to find the source of air pollution through this process, and successfully tracked the changes in vehicle use over 15 years in three East Asian cities.

Their findings can be applied to the process of monitoring urban particulate matter pollution and distinguishing the sources of air pollution.

“Many of the existing methods of source identification require large amounts of data from many different sets of observations and several monitoring sites,” second author Ning Tang told Mirage News.

The study, which was led by Kazuichi Hayakwa , proposed that calculating the ratio between a chemical relating to particulate matter released from combustion at low temperature (pyrene) and another released from combustion at high temperature (1-nitropyrene) could reveal the different pollution sources.

The researchers believe the method can be applied to the monitoring of particulate matter pollution in urban areas to create pollution reduction strategies.

Airborne particulate matter emissions are also an ongoing issue in quarries, with various scientific studies in the past four decades having identified an association between respiratory symptoms (such as respirable crystalline silica) in workers and exposure to long-term ambient particulate concentrations of about 30–35µg/m³. To increase safety, many earthmoving plant and equipment manufacturers have developed vehicles with reduced PM emissions.