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A theoretical and experimental framework for the study of vegetation as a screen against aerosol pollution
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2961-296X
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (ESEG)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
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2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is well known that vegetation acts a sink for aerosol particles, with the particle-capture efficiency strongly related to vegetation characteristics (such as dimensions of needles and leaves) and to  particle size and aerodynamic conditions. However, there is a need for studies of ways to harness this sink capacity for constructing “green screens” to help reduce aerosol-particle concentrations, and thus health effects, in downwind residential areas. In this report we present a simplified mathematical model for the particle-capture processes involved and use results of model simulations to explore ways to address the problem through experiments with vegetation-filter components (“green filter packs”) placed in a windtunnel. Because of the exploratory nature of our work, the very limited logistics available, and the severe time constraints for the work (a few weeks only were available) the report is shaped as a kind of “scientific narrative” (rather than as a traditional technical paper). A series of tests is described wherein steps are taken towards practical implementation of experimental designs and procedures  based on a simple smoke-aerosol generator and measurements of smoke concentrations upwind and downwind of “green filter packs”. Measurements involve laser-based particle counters, two-stage Nuclepore filter systems, and Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) techniques followed by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. The main objective of the work was thus to illustrate ways to design experiments – rather than perform full-fledged experimental work – and to show how experimental data can be processed and used to assist in the study of vegetation as “pollution screens”. Despite the very limited time available for the work, the results show that our experimental approach is able to generate relevant information; for instance, a study of the particle-filtration capacity of a “green filter pack” consisting of an arrangement with Scots pine needles yielded interesting data.  Also, the  study suggests opportunities for more systematic comparisons between theory and practice, inasmuch it showed how, in principle, parameters involved in the mathematical model can be quantified. The SPME tests also provided interesting information with respect to chemical characteristics of the smoke-aerosol that was generated for the experiments. However, the tests with Nuclepore-filter sampling as well as the SPME applications showed needs for improving the smoke-generation method so that high and stable smoke-aerosol concentrations can be maintained over long periods (several hours).

 

 

Our observations and findings imply that several refinements to the experimental design will be needed, including with  respect to methods for assessing the distribution of particle number and mass as a function of particle size (in the present study, the distribution is indicated by two particle-size classes only, 0.5 to 5 μm and >5 μm). Several other needs for improving the modelling as well experimental approach are also discussed in the report. Finally, a few observations on the needs for field-based studies are made together with remarks on the implications of the multi-disciplinary nature of this kind of work, with is linkages to the broader air-pollution context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 50 p.
National Category
Other Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37051ISBN: 978-91-87925-19-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-37051DiVA: diva2:801375
Note

Ej belagd/20150923

Available from: 2015-04-09 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2016-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Rupar-Gadd, KatarinaIbrahim, Muhammad AsimLaohaprapanon, SawanyaHogland, William
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