Development of an Inexpensive Lightweight Aerosol Particle Size Spectrometer

Host Organisation: A.K. Lemon Labs Limited
Project Budget: 59.300,00€
IDEK Funding: 50.000,00€

Monitoring the quality of the air, and particularly the concentration and size of airborne particles, is increasingly important for assessing the impacts of air pollution on human health and climate. Existing instruments for measuring only the concentration of atmospheric aerosol particles are bulky and expensive, and thus monitoring them is typically performed at a small number of stations spread around cities or wider regions. What is more, getting the information of particle size (which is very important for assessing their impacts) requires more complex instrumentation, and thus such measurements are even much more scarce.
The project proposes to further develop and build a compact and cost-effective instrument for measuring both the size and concentration of atmospheric aerosol particles, which when reproduced in large numbers they can be employed simultaneously in multiple monitoring stations to obtain spatially distributed measurements. This instrument will consist of a particle classifier and particle counter. The main parts of both these components will be manufactured using novel moldcasting and 3D printing methods, which Lemon Labs have recently demonstrated can be used to significantly reduce (by at least one order of magnitude) the weight and the cost of such instruments. As a result the price of the integrated instrument (combining the particle classifier and the counter) will be very competitive compared to its existing commercial counterparts, thereby securing its commercial success.
Once the prototype is developed, they will test its performance at different conditions in the laboratory, and in collaboration with recognized research teams they will deploy it for a small period of time in field measurements for assessing the quality of the air. By the end of the project they will therefore have a cost-effective and reliable instrument that they will be able to put in the market.