Investigating biases in PM2.5 monitoring data from optical instruments

Supervisor: Dr Katherine Manfred

Department: Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Labs, University of York


Optical instruments are increasingly being used to monitor PM2.5 (particulate matter < 2.5 microns) pollution in the UK. While these methods are robust and sensitive, the conversion from raw signal to PM2.5 mass relies on a number of assumptions about particle composition and shape, and the accuracy of measurements depends on the types of particles being sampled. In this project, the student will compare responses of a “typical” optical PM2.5 monitoring instrument to different types of aerosol particles and compare these against theoretical models and measurements using a more sophisticated instrument being developed by a PhD student. The outcomes of the project will help quantify potential biases in current and future PM2.5 monitoring data dependent on the changing profile of dominant aerosol types in the UK.