Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 3.248 IF 3.248
  • IF 5-year value: 3.650 IF 5-year 3.650
  • CiteScore value: 3.37 CiteScore 3.37
  • SNIP value: 1.253 SNIP 1.253
  • SJR value: 1.869 SJR 1.869
  • IPP value: 3.29 IPP 3.29
  • h5-index value: 47 h5-index 47
  • Scimago H index value: 60 Scimago H index 60
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-304
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-304
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Sep 2018

Research article | 26 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Understanding the ability of low-cost MOx sensors to quantify ambient VOCs

Ashley M. Collier-Oxandale1, Jacob Thorson2, Hannah Halliday3, Jana Milford2, and Michael Hannigan2 Ashley M. Collier-Oxandale et al.
  • 1Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, 80309, USA
  • 2Mechanincal Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, 80309, USA
  • 3NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, 23666, USA

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present a unique challenge in air quality research given their importance to human and environmental health, and their complexity to monitor resulting from the number of possible sources and mixtures. New technologies, such as low-cost air quality sensors have the potential to support existing air quality measurement methods by providing high time and spatial resolution data. This higher resolution data could provide greater insight into specific events, sources, and local variability. Furthermore, given the potential for differences in selectivities for sensors, leveraging multiple sensors in an array format may even be able to provide insight into which VOCs or types of VOCs are present. During the FRAPPE/DISCOVER-AQ monitoring campaigns, our team was able to co-locate two sensor systems, using metal oxide (MOx) VOC sensors, with a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) providing speciated VOC data. This dataset provided the opportunity to explore the ability of sensors to estimate specific VOCs and groups of VOCs in real-world conditions, e.g., dynamic temperature and humidity. Moreover, we were able to explore the impact of changing VOC compositions on sensor performance as well as the difference in selectivities of sensors in order to consider how this could be utilized. From this analysis, it seems that systems using multiple VOC sensors are able to provide VOC estimates at ambient levels for specific VOCs or groups of VOCs, it also seems that this performance is fairly robust to changing VOC mixtures, and it was confirmed that there are consistent and useful differences in selectivities between the two MOx sensors studied. While this study was fairly limited in scope, the results suggest that there is the potential for low-cost VOC sensors to support highly resolved, ambient hydrocarbon measurements. The availability of this technology could enhance research and monitoring for public health and communities impacted by air toxics, which in turn could support a better understanding of exposure and actions to reduce harmful exposure.

Ashley M. Collier-Oxandale et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Ashley M. Collier-Oxandale et al.
Ashley M. Collier-Oxandale et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 493 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
370 116 7 493 19 4 7
  • HTML: 370
  • PDF: 116
  • XML: 7
  • Total: 493
  • Supplement: 19
  • BibTeX: 4
  • EndNote: 7
Views and downloads (calculated since 26 Sep 2018)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 26 Sep 2018)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 477 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 475 with geography defined and 2 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 22 Jan 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Airborne pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, can present a danger to public and environmental health. We explored the potential for low-cost air quality sensors to help measure these compounds. From our deployment and the subsequent analysis, it seems these sensors can be calibrated to provide estimates of the levels of some individual and some groups of VOCs. More cost-effective ways to measure VOCs could inform actions to reduce exposure.
Airborne pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, can present a danger to public and...
Citation
Share