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  • Posts dated "May, 2021"

    ET gears up for Clean Air Day!

    Our favourite time of year has come around again. The suns shining (at last) and Clean Air Day is just around
    the corner (June 17th).

    After a year of lockdowns and a drastic reduction in traffic, Clean Air Day is timely this year. As covid measures lift and traffic ramps up again what better time to support UK’s largest air pollution campaign, Clean Air Day.

    As in previous years, our zero-emission mobile air quality monitoring laboratory, the Smogmobile, will be out and about measuring pollutants and raising awareness. This year’s CAD theme is protect our children’s health from air pollution so we felt there was no better way to support this than monitoring pollutants at a local school.

    CAD 2021 themed social image

    ET’s MD, Duncan Mounsor will be taking smoggy to Upton St Leonards primary the week before Clean Air Day to check up on local levels of NOx and PM2.5 at drop off. He’s going to stick around for a bit so the children can come and have a look at his highly sensitive precision analysers collecting data. Later in the day Duncan will connect virtually with the school to educate the children about where air pollution comes from and what we can do about it.

    The school are whole heartedly behind the plan and are very active in encouraging the pupils to think about the environment and are committed to promoting Clean Air Day both internally and externally. Pupils who travel greener on the 17th June will be awarded house points.

    The Smogmobile has proved successful at monitoring pollutants at schools previously. In this case study gloucestershire-county-council-school-study.pdf (et.co.uk) you can read how Gloucestershire County Council commissioned the Smogmobile to monitor at 7 schools to determine the spatial distribution of air pollutants (particularly nitrogen dioxide, PM10, and ozone) to compare levels during half term and term time.

    On June 17th The Smogmobile will be out again taking measurements around ET’s hometown of Stroud, Gloucestershire where it will be on patrol to give a second-by-second picture of common pollutant levels and identifying localised air pollution hot spots.

    Look out for Clean Air Day updates and photos on our social media channels.

    For more information on how the Smogmobile can help you monitor pollutants, contact ET today.

    www.et.co.uk    01453 733200    sales@et.co.uk

    Ammonia – a toxic modern day pollutant

    Ammonia infographic

    As one of the most toxic modern-day pollutants, Ammonia emissions are an increasingly active area of research.

    The UK has national emission reduction commitments for overall UK emissions of five damaging air pollutants, one of these is ammonia. (DEFRA Clean Air Strategy 2019)

    Having experienced a fall in ammonia emissions from 1990’s up until 2013, the UK then saw a reverse in trend and now there’s a significant increase in levels (www.gov.uk/Air Quality: explaining air pollution – at a glance).

    Ammonia graphic

    There are two main causes for concern:

    1. its contribution to the formation of secondary fine particulate matter (PM) including PM2.5, one of the most dangerous modern-day air pollutants with far-reaching human health impacts.

    2. ammonium deposition which causes significant long-term damage to sensitive habitats and ecosystems as well as eutrophication, the over-nutrification and excess nitrogen in aquatic environments leading to acidification and a reduction in species richness and biodiversity.

    As part of our growing knowledge bank of gas and particulate factsheets, ET have produced a factsheet, one in a series, that explains what ammonia is, why it’s so important to measure and the challenges faced by those in pollution control.

    You can read our ammonia factsheet here.

    Los Gatos Research

    Traditionally ammonia has been difficult to measure in trace concentrations in ambient air (i.e. at ppb levels) due to the extremely reactive nature of the gas. ET’s ABB-Los Gatos Research’s range of monitoring solutions for the measurement of ammonia provide a highly precise measurement with a low sensitivity to interference. These are popular with field and lab-based researchers alike. Available in rack-mounted and ultraportable form, they can suit your exact requirements.

    • Ultraportable Economical Ammonia Analyser (17kg, built into Pelican case)

    • Rackmount Economical Ammonia Analyser (19” rack mount, standard configuration)

    • Enhanced-Performance Rackmount Economical Ammonia Analyser (19” rack mount with temperature regulation for improved precision and drift)

    • Trace Ammonia Analyser (19” rack mount, Quantum Cascade Laser for highly-sensitive measurements in the mid-infrared, liquid nitrogen cooled detector, temperature regulation)

    We also offer robust ammonia measurements using photo acoustics and quantum cascade laser allowing for continuous monitoring with a detection limit of 1ppb with our range of LSE NH3 monitors

    LSE monitors .

    • NH3 1700 rack-mounted, photoacoustic, 2ppb precision

    • NH3 1710 rack-mounted, photoacoustic, 25ppb precision

    You can find these and our full range of air quality monitors at www.et.co.uk

    To speak to a specialist, contact ET today.

    www.et.co.uk     01453 733200       sales@et.co.uk

    Opsis DOAS for the measurement of air pollutants

    Kevin Wyche

    Many of today’s air quality analysers are based on the more traditional point source monitoring technologies, the lesser known DOAS open-path system from Opsis is different and offers many advantages over more conventional methods.

    In the paper Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy for the Measurement of Air Pollutants produced by DR Kevin Wyche and DR Kirsty Smallbone for project Joaquin (Joint Air Quality Initiative) at the University of Brighton in 2015, they explore its performance when measuring NO2, O3, SO2, HCHO and HONO.

    The research concludes that DOAS technology offers an excellent platform to provide high time resolution long term monitoring of air pollutants with high specificity and sensitivity.

    Sometimes it’s good to be different.

    You can read the full paper here.

    Kevin Wyche Paper
    By measuring over a wide path, the Opsis DOAS Open-path system gives an average measurement. This means the data is more representative and can be a far more effective technique for applications involving modelling and forecasting which allows for an early warning system for high pollutant episodes so that preventative measures can be taken to reduce the impact.

    The Opsis Open-path system can be configured to measure multiple gases in one system including NO, NO2, SO2, O3, Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, Formaldehyde, NH3 etc.

    As an internationally approved (MCERTS), multi-parameter, monitoring solution, the Opsis Open-path system really is an emerging future technology for measuring AQ.

    In the video below you can see how the Opsis Open-path system has been effective in helping Swansea City Council forecast high pollution episodes which has allowed them to put preventative measures in place to reduce the impact.

    For more information on how the Opsis Open-path system can work for you, call to speak to one of our specialists today.

    01453 733200    sales@et.co.uk    www.et.co.uk

    You get what you pay for - Air Quality Instrument Service Contracts: by ET Customer Services Manager, Mike Smith


    “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder” John Glenn, Astronaut.

    I expect we’ve all grown up hearing the expression ‘you get what you pay for’ but in the world of air quality equipment servicing, its meaning is particularly apposite. Of course, everybody understands the economic pressures on budgetary allocation, from the personal choices we make with our pay through to the distribution of government taxation. It all has to be spent wisely and with so many choices, why would anyone choose to spend more than necessary on something as mundane as an air quality instrument service contract? Well, here’s why: - I’ve been managing ET’s Service Department for five years now and what I’ve seen in that time has caused me a lot of head scratching and frustration. I’ve seen customers jump ship to save £100 on a maintenance contract worth thousands of pounds; I’ve participated in many competitive tendering practices fiendishly designed to force a race to the bottom when it comes to the quality of service delivery; I’ve seen instruments in a terrible state of neglect when a contract comes back to us after a period of absence. Let me explain why these (and other such practices) are such a bad and expensive idea.

    You’ve probably spent many thousands of pounds on new monitoring equipment – or conversely, you’re forced to keep much older equipment up and running due to impossible budgetary constraints. Either way, you want to keep defensible data flowing from your instruments for as long as possible. This means investing in a maintenance and repair service, so who do you trust? Do you really want the lowest bidder maintaining your expensive investment? Instead, how about placing your trust in a team of 14 x factory trained engineers with a collective instrument maintenance wisdom exceeding 250 years? Now imagine these engineers networking, so their knowledge is pooled and available to all. Imagine also that they’re regionally based to maximise response time whilst minimising environmental impact through travel. When an ET engineer arrives onsite, he’ll carry with him over £5000 in commonly used spare parts, so your instrument stands a very high chance of being up and running again the same day. Behind the engineers sits a highly evolved support network including dedicated technical support, admin and scheduling teams, remote diagnostics, a professionally staffed and equipped workshop, hot spare analysers and all of this being process driven by an ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Wouldn’t you prefer to buy into all of the above? If you choose to, you can expect your new instruments to still be running when the dedicated internal combustion engine starts disappearing from our towns and cities, meaning these could well be the last air quality monitoring instruments you’ll ever need to buy. If you don’t, I hope you have deep pockets. 

    John Glenn had no choice but to trust everything he had to the lowest bidder. You do. Choose wisely.


    Mike s sml

    PM2.5: The facts

    PM2.5 image

    In order to fully understand the reasons for monitoring PM2.5 it’s important to address what PM2.5 is, and how it’s formed.

    After all there is a saying “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”.

    As opposed to its larger counterpart PM10 which is mainly formed from construction site activities and car tyre usage, PM2.5 is associated with fuel burning, industrial combustion processes and vehicle emissions. Because these day-to-day activities result in the majority of PM2.5 emissions, it makes this pollutant a global issue.

    The monitoring of PM2.5 concentration is vital because it serves as the basis of pollution abatement strategies, providing important insights and relevant information that helps to define the pollution problem and aids solution planning.

    As part of our growing knowledge bank of gas and particulate factsheets, ET have produced a PM2.5 factsheet (one in a series) which explains what PM2.5 is, why it should be measured, and how to do it.

    PM2.5 factsheet images

    ET’s range of monitors for the measurement of PM2.5

    ET can offer a wide range of solutions from Indicative sensors through to one of the successful air monitoring platforms in the world, the BAM-1020, which comes with DEFRA MCERTS approval.

    You can find many of our PM2.5 monitors on the factsheet and our full range on the website www.et.co.uk

    Contact an ET specialist today to discuss how we can help you monitor PM2.5.

    01453 733200   sales@et.co.uk

    Ozone: Summer doesn't just bring warm, sunny days...

    With the onset of increased hours of sunlight comes a nasty by-product of human activity, tropospheric ozone (also referred to as ground level ozone). It’s a type of air pollution associated with summer smog.

    Unlike most other air pollutants, ozone is not directly emitted into the air. Tropospheric ozone, a secondary pollutant is formed by the interaction of sunlight, carbon monoxide, methane, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides. High levels usually occur during warm summer months, typically reaching their peak in mid to late afternoon.

    Tropospheric ozone infographic

    A classic trans-boundary pollutant, ozone typically forms from pre-cursor pollutants emitted in other regions, or even countries, and is often transported over long distances in the atmosphere. As such, it can significantly contribute to local and regional air pollution episodes.

    Since 1900, the amount of ground-based ozone has more than doubled due to the increased activity of transportation and industry (Ozone in the troposphere, UCAR)

    Ozone has a range of harmful impacts on human health. It can react with almost all biological tissues, resulting in a variety of adverse health effects but most significantly in respiratory conditions. Exposure to background levels of ozone can also damage biochemical, reproductive and cellular processes within plants, which in turn harms fragile ecosystems.

    Bearing all this in mind the requirement to monitor tropospheric ozone is substantial.

    ET have been at the forefront of air quality monitoring equipment supply market since 1983. With almost 40 years of experience under our belts, we have the knowledge to help provide you with the right ozone monitoring technology to suit your needs.

    For more information on what Ozone is, why it’s so important to measure and see the range of ozone monitors available from ET, take a look at our Ozone factsheet.

    Be ahead of the game this summer, contact ET to discuss monitoring Ozone with one of our specialists.

    01453 733200     sales@et.co.uk     www.et.co.uk

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