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Air Pollution Monitors A Survey

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.84.1 - 5.84.10



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Paper Authors

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Veronica Ramirez

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Saleh M. Sbenaty

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2559

Air Pollution Monitors – A Survey Veronica Ramirez, Saleh M. Sbenaty Middle Tennessee State University


In recent years, ambient air quality monitoring has become an essential part of most industrial establishments in order to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. This has made air quality surveys even more complex, requiring adequate planning to assure that prescribed objectives can be attained in the shortest possible time and at the least cost. Air quality is usually monitored in order to characterize air quality in urban areas, near large sources of pollution, or where there are sensitive environmental receptors. Therefore, a criterion for selecting air pollution monitors is required because monitoring is expensive, time consuming, and requires skilled personnel and sophisticated analytical equipment.

The most common and probably preferred way of classifying and selecting monitors is based on their operating principles, the most common of which are: electromagnetic radiation, chemical affinity or reactivity, electrical or magnetic fields, thermal or mechanical excitation, and other combinations or variations of these.

Practically, the final selection is based on several factors and the initial cost is always important. In addition, familiarity with one specific type of technique may influence the selection (favorably or unfavorably). Accuracy, reproducibility, and speed of response are as important as cost, particularly in control installations. Proper selection of the best analyzer for a given measurement requires a complete knowledge of the monitoring process variables such as compositions, temperatures, and pressures. Selection is then based on a sound understanding of the principles of operation and an equally sound understanding of the chemistry and operation of the processes.

This paper represents a survey that will aid in the selection and understanding of air pollution monitors and their basic operating principles. The main focus will be on gas pollutants. It is a summary of the author’s research project completed in part for the partial fulfillment of the Masters Degree in Safety at Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies, Middle Tennessee State University.

I. Introduction

Air quality is a dynamic and complex environmental phenomenon having large temporal and spatial variation. The temporal and spatial variations in atmospheric levels of pollution, which is the essence of air quality, are caused by: changes in the source emission rates and in the meteorological and topographic conditions, which contribute to the dilution of the material, provide chemical reactions in the atmosphere, and control the removal of various pollutants.

Ramirez, V., & Sbenaty, S. M. (2000, June), Air Pollution Monitors A Survey Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8162

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