Compact device measures level and source of PM 2.5

Scientific and technical articles on particle air pollution.

Compact device measures level and source of PM 2.5

Postby Wilberforce » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:27 am

Compact device measures level and source of PM 2.5
November 23, 2014


KYOTO--Precision tool maker Horiba Ltd. has developed a compact analyzer for PM 2.5 fine particulate matter that can identify individual constituents of the pollutant.

The environment-monitoring device combines concentration measurement and element composition analysis systems into one, drastically reducing the time needed to identify airborne components.

The product is the brainchild of Tomoki Aoyama, 32, an X-ray analyzer engineer in the company’s science and semiconductor department.

Although PM 2.5 pollutants are often understood in terms of size, the source of the problem lies in components of the airborne matter.

The device incorporates X-ray technology to identify the individual substances in PM 2.5, such as lead or sulfur, allowing appropriate countermeasures to be taken.

It was developed in response to a call from municipalities fighting air pollution and seeking a device that could swiftly analyze airborne substances.

Aoyama was a member of the 49th Antarctic research expedition team from 2007 to 2009.

Even though he succeeded in showing that sulfur levels increase in Antarctica in summer, he had bitter memories of having Horiba's heavy X-ray analysis equipment, at 120 kilograms, transported by helicopter to the observation area.

After returning to work, he started developing an alternative X-ray equipment. Three years in the making, in 2012, the new device weighed just 12 kg, one-10th of its predecessor.

Horiba announced in August development of the latest device. The company plans to sell the equipment to municipalities from 2015.

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