Assessing impact of residential air purification on ambient living environments utilising enhanced optical particle sensors

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Stefan Gillot

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Start Year

2017 (Cohort 4)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Assessing impact of residential air purification on ambient living environments utilising enhanced optical particle sensors

Research Theme

Environmental Pollution

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution


CASE Partner

Dyson Technology Ltd

CASE Supervisor


Respirable particulate matter (PM) is a global health concern and large environmental risk factor for morbidity and mortality which disproportionately affects developing countries, especially women and children. Measuring PM accurately is a technical challenge. Current methods require a range of instruments that are costly to run and require significant resources to maintain. Moreover, modern analytical methods are unable to detect the spatial inhomogeneity of PM concentration that are present in urban microenvironments. Technological advancements have miniaturised detection methods, reducing costs and increasing portability, therefore the potential for increased spatial and temporal measurements however, the accuracy of these techniques is not well characterised.

Field and laboratory evaluations of low-cost optical particle counters (OPC) show there to be significant artefacts from environmental variables such as relative humidity and physicochemical variables such as the chemical composition. Post processing algorithms have been shown to improve their accuracy with but there is potential for further improvements. This project will assess low-cost OPC’s against state of the art reference instrumentation in a range of ambient and indoor environments. A full characterisation and enhancement of current low-cost OPC’s response to PM will be completed via algorithm development and machine learning techniques.

Policy Impact
Background Reading


Conferences and Workshops
  • Air Sensors International Conference (September 2018). Poster
  • European Aerosol Conference (July 2019).

Defra 06/01/2020 – 06/04/2020.

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