Problem Statement:

Monitoring of air pollution in communities, contributed by commercial and domestic sources to better inform business and customer habits fuel selection and enhance local air quality through community engagement and data transparency.

Solution:

Installation of air quality sensors in 3 areas

Atop taxis:

To gather an understanding of the air quality profile in public spaces with large areas, while cutting down on infrastructure required.

In residential estates:

For less traversed but densely populated areas, and more detailed and targeted results of the origins of various pollutants.

The flues and chimneys of large commercial burners: To measure the air expired from the burned fuel source. This can then better inform source selection such as coal vs peat, natural gas vs biogas etc even down to a brand level. This can also better inform the methods of air filtration required before the expelled air is released into the atmosphere.

The air quality sensor kit proposed will combine sensors, microcontrollers and telecommunication equipment to reliably, and securely collect, compile and communicate the information needed to help enact changes for a better cleaner environment. Proposed device will be able to monitor particulate matter PM10, PM2.5, Nitrogen dioxide - NO2, Sulphur dioxide - SO2 and Carbon monoxide CO.

This data will be managed and monitored by public entities such as local councils, states and/or national level government departments. We propose also that this data is readily available for observation from the bodies whom will store and monitor it, to facilitate local development and decisions to be made.

Impact of solution/ Business viability:

The world is under extreme pressure to alter our habits to impact our carbon emissions so as to reduce global warming. However, there is still a lot of fossil fuels being burned as primary sources for power and heat generation. The move to more sustainable and cleaner sources (such as biogases) are in progress but it will be a slow transition period judging from the economic impacts that this will have.

As a result we aim to address what is a current issue to help support the future. Cleaner air is not only better for the environment but also for humans and animals alike. There are numerous studies on the long term impacts of those exposed to smog and particles from burning materials eg. much shorter life, lung cancer disease etc.

By monitoring the data from the 3 proposed areas we can create a tailored profile of a city/town/community and provide that data to its inhabitants to help in educating at community and commercial levels the amount contributed to the environment. This will not only have significant impact for the world around us but also the health at local, national and international levels. The benefits of which will also be seen in other sectors such as health, with reduction in airborne contaminants. Wildlife, with improving quality of air, the ecology of an area can flourish. This increases biodiversity and also assists in the preservation of a more natural balance.

Existing solutions and resources
State owned agencies:
https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/explore-interactive-maps/up-to-date-air-quality-data
https://www.epa.gov/air-trends
Private companies specialising in Air Quality monitoring
https://airly.eu/en/
https://www.aqmesh.com/
https://www.airmonitors.co.uk/
https://www.aeroqual.com/

Inspiration

While many countries strive toward their individual and universal goals for the reduction of human impact on the earth a lot of the solutions are at such a scale that enacting it and seeing changes from them are taking longer than desired. We wanted to create a real-time solution for an active problem we currently face that can empower anyone to make better, greener choices toward healthier lifestyles and a more sustainable future. Time is running out and we have to make real changes now to save ourselves, our kids and the planet.

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