UP researchers develop low-cost air quality monitor

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Researchers from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), has developed a low-cost, high-quality aerosol monitors to help find ways in minimizing air pollution in the cities.

Spearheaded by Dr. Len Herald V. Lim, the Robust Optical Aerosol Monitor or Project ROAM, was initiated to measure particulate matter concentration in the air. It provides crucial information to create policies and programs for environmental protection.

“ROAM units use a different method in detecting particles that does not require the manufacture or fabrication of specialized parts typical of contemporary commercial instrumentation. This allows a much lower production cost, smaller maintenance requirement, and an exclusive research chain,” said Lim.

The team has already produced 10 optical aerosol monitors. Four of these have been verified for performance through collocation experiments with aerosol equipment used by the DENR-EMB while the remaining six are being tested for performance and will be subject for stricter collocation experiments when conditions permit.

The ROAM team is now exploring the creation of a spin-off company through DOST’s Funding Assistance for Spinoff and Translation of Research in Advancing Commercialization or FASTRAC program to help advance the commercialization of their technology and bring the science project to the community.

Enrico Paringit, executive director of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) expressed hope that the technology can be adopted by local government units who want to improve their area’s air quality through scientific means.

“This technology is one significant stride in our path towards improving air quality.  Now is a good time to cooperation with our innovators, adopt this solution to protect our future,” Paringit said.

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