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Title: Using Low-Cost Measurement Systems to Investigate Air Quality: A Case Study in Palapye, Botswana

Abstract

Exposure to particulate air pollution is a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In developing countries, the combustion of solid fuels is widely used as a source of energy, and this process can produce exposure to harmful levels of particulate matter with diameters smaller than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5). However, as countries develop, solid fuel may be replaced by centralized coal combustion, and vehicles burning diesel and gasoline may become common, changing the concentration and composition of PM 2.5, which ultimately changes the population health effects. Therefore, there is a continuous need for in-situ monitoring of air pollution in developing nations, both to estimate human exposure and to monitor changes in air quality. In this study, we present measurements from a 5-week field experiment in Palapye, Botswana. We used a low-cost, highly portable instrument package to measure surface-based aerosol optical depth (AOD), real-time surface PM 2.5 concentrations using a third-party optical sensor, and time-integrated PM 2.5 concentration and composition by collecting PM 2.5 onto Teflon filters. Furthermore, we employed other low-cost measurements of real-time black carbon and time-integrated ammonia to help interpret the observed PM 2.5 composition and concentration information during the field experiment. We found that the averagemore » PM 2.5 concentration (9.5 μg∙m –3) was below the World Health Organization (WHO) annual limit, and this concentration closely agrees with estimates from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report estimates for this region. Sulfate aerosol and carbonaceous aerosol, likely from coal combustion and biomass burning, respectively, were the main contributors to PM 2.5 by mass (33% and 27% of total PM 2.5 mass, respectively). While these observed concentrations were on average below WHO guidelines, we found that the measurement site experienced higher concentrations of aerosol during first half our measurement period (14.5 μg∙m –3), which is classified as "moderately unhealthy" according to the WHO standard.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric Science
  2. Botswana International Univ. of Science and Technology, Palapye (Botswana). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  3. Appalachian State Univ., Boone, NC (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  4. North Carolina A & T State Univ., Greensboro, NC (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
OSTI Identifier:
1660516
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-807518
Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4433; 1013096
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344; 1559308; NNX17AF94A; 80NSSC18M0120
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmosphere (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4433
Publisher:
MDPI
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; PM2.5; low-cost measurements; Botswana; air quality; air pollution

Citation Formats

Lassman, William, Pierce, Jeffrey R., Bangs, Evelyn J., Sullivan, Amy P., Ford, Bonne, Mengistu Tsidu, Gizaw, Sherman, James P., Collett, Jeffrey L., and Bililign, Solomon. Using Low-Cost Measurement Systems to Investigate Air Quality: A Case Study in Palapye, Botswana. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.3390/atmos11060583.
Lassman, William, Pierce, Jeffrey R., Bangs, Evelyn J., Sullivan, Amy P., Ford, Bonne, Mengistu Tsidu, Gizaw, Sherman, James P., Collett, Jeffrey L., & Bililign, Solomon. Using Low-Cost Measurement Systems to Investigate Air Quality: A Case Study in Palapye, Botswana. United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060583
Lassman, William, Pierce, Jeffrey R., Bangs, Evelyn J., Sullivan, Amy P., Ford, Bonne, Mengistu Tsidu, Gizaw, Sherman, James P., Collett, Jeffrey L., and Bililign, Solomon. Tue . "Using Low-Cost Measurement Systems to Investigate Air Quality: A Case Study in Palapye, Botswana". United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060583. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1660516.
@article{osti_1660516,
title = {Using Low-Cost Measurement Systems to Investigate Air Quality: A Case Study in Palapye, Botswana},
author = {Lassman, William and Pierce, Jeffrey R. and Bangs, Evelyn J. and Sullivan, Amy P. and Ford, Bonne and Mengistu Tsidu, Gizaw and Sherman, James P. and Collett, Jeffrey L. and Bililign, Solomon},
abstractNote = {Exposure to particulate air pollution is a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In developing countries, the combustion of solid fuels is widely used as a source of energy, and this process can produce exposure to harmful levels of particulate matter with diameters smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5). However, as countries develop, solid fuel may be replaced by centralized coal combustion, and vehicles burning diesel and gasoline may become common, changing the concentration and composition of PM2.5, which ultimately changes the population health effects. Therefore, there is a continuous need for in-situ monitoring of air pollution in developing nations, both to estimate human exposure and to monitor changes in air quality. In this study, we present measurements from a 5-week field experiment in Palapye, Botswana. We used a low-cost, highly portable instrument package to measure surface-based aerosol optical depth (AOD), real-time surface PM2.5 concentrations using a third-party optical sensor, and time-integrated PM2.5 concentration and composition by collecting PM2.5 onto Teflon filters. Furthermore, we employed other low-cost measurements of real-time black carbon and time-integrated ammonia to help interpret the observed PM2.5 composition and concentration information during the field experiment. We found that the average PM2.5 concentration (9.5 μg∙m–3) was below the World Health Organization (WHO) annual limit, and this concentration closely agrees with estimates from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report estimates for this region. Sulfate aerosol and carbonaceous aerosol, likely from coal combustion and biomass burning, respectively, were the main contributors to PM2.5 by mass (33% and 27% of total PM2.5 mass, respectively). While these observed concentrations were on average below WHO guidelines, we found that the measurement site experienced higher concentrations of aerosol during first half our measurement period (14.5 μg∙m–3), which is classified as "moderately unhealthy" according to the WHO standard.},
doi = {10.3390/atmos11060583},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1660516}, journal = {Atmosphere (Basel)},
issn = {2073-4433},
number = 6,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {6}
}

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