EarthSense, the air quality specialist, is collaborating with senior lecturers from Coventry University and the University of Manchester on a project that introduces some of the first real-time air quality measurements in Lagos, Nigeria.
The project, in its first stages, utilises EarthSense’s leading pollution measuring device, the Zephyr® to detect air pollution levels in Lagos. Data from the Zephyr® sensor will be used to identify pollution trends with future aims of building a wider ambient air quality network, to guide future decisions made by policy makers and evidencing the impact of harmful gases and pollutants on residents.
After outlining concerns about the absence of air pollution monitoring and reference sites in low resource areas, lecturers from Coventry University and the University of Manchester received funding from the University of Manchester Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) quality-related grant to deliver the project.
The solar powered Zephyr® sensor has been affixed to a secure building façade at the University of Lagos, a location which is in close proximity to a number of areas of interest, including a busy traffic corridor, a primary school, and a lagoon. Using the static unit will provide localised, real-time air quality measurements to identify pollution levels.
The EarthSense sensor provides partners with pollution measurements for dangerous gases and particulates including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric oxide (NO), ozone (O3), PM2.5 and PM10. The sensor takes real-time pollution measurements by carrying out readings every 10 seconds via an inlet which, once air quality is measured, releases the air back into the atmosphere.
Pollutant and gas data is available to view, download and analyse on the EarthSense web app, MyAir® which is used to remotely understand air quality levels in Nigeria from the UK, so strategies can be developed to enhance the quality of the air and reduce adverse risks of pollution.
Senior Lecturer in Project Management at the University of Manchester, Dr Obuks Ejohwomu said: “Since we deployed our sensor, we’ve been able to identify that air quality levels in Lagos are higher during morning hours than those in Manchester.”
Dr Ejohwomu continued: “Gathering this type of data means we are able to deliver air quality information to policy makers in the city, who we want to work alongside to identify and implement evidence-based mitigation strategies. We also want to raise awareness about the dangers of poor air quality to encourage steps to be taken by companies and individuals to reduce the risks.”
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at Coventry University, Dr Nwabueze Emekwuru said: “Low resource areas can be densely populated and air quality can deteriorate quickly, so pollution exposure needs to be understood. As there are no reference sites in Lagos, the Zephyr® sensor allows us to gain leading insight into air quality to ensure residents aren’t living in areas with dangerous pollution levels.”
EarthSense Managing Director, Tom Hall said: “Zephyr® sensors are the ideal tool for measuring air quality in humid, dry, conditions like in Lagos, the extruded aluminium hardware makes for a resilient sensor which can withstand most conditions. We’re pleased to be providing some of the first real-time air quality measurements at the University of Lagos.”