Speaker : Dr. R Subramanian

Title of the talk : Africa qualité de l’Air (AfriqAir): A transcontinental air quality monitoring hybrid network using lower-cost sensors and reference monitors

Date and Time:  Thursday, November 18, 2021. 04 00 – 05 00 pm IST.

Abstract : Ambient air pollution is estimated to cause several hundred thousand deaths annually across Africa. Many African cities have very limited or no air quality monitoring infrastructure, hampering urban air quality management. The Make Our Planet Great Again (MOPGA) project ‘Make Air Quality Great Again’, in collaboration with African, American, and Australian partners, has established AfriqAir, a transcontinental network of low-cost sensor nodes and reference monitors. Over 50 nodes have been deployed in Nairobi, Kigali, Accra, Abidjan, and other African cities. Localized corrections for these sensors are developed by collocation with reference monitors for fine particulate matter mass (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. Not all these cities had continuous reference monitoring, so AfriqAir partners have deployed reference monitors in Accra, Nairobi, and Abidjan. Efforts are also underway to deploy an additional 25 reference PM monitors (TEOMs).

Local partnerships ensure that the sensors are maintained and deployed in locally-relevant sites. We are training local students and technicians to develop local capacity and ensure network sustainability. Knowledge is actively exchanged through webinars, summer schools, and a planned CAMS-Net symposium at ASIC 2022. Results for spatio-temporal variability of urban air pollution, comparison of ground monitoring data with satellite estimates, and source apportionment will be presented. Challenges faced and questions for future investigation will also be shared in this seminar.

Speaker Bio: Dr R Subramanian is a Senior Scientist at the Environment and Sustainability Center (ESC) of the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI), where he leads QEERI’s research on sensors for air quality and climate. He is also a research fellow at the Kigali Collaborative Research Centre (Kigali, Rwanda), a visiting researcher at OSU-Efluve/CNRS (Creteil, France), and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA, USA).Over the past two decades, he has worked on chemical characterization and source apportionment of ambient organic aerosol, single-particle measurements of black carbon and BC mixing state, cook stove and vehicle emissions, and methane emissions from natural gas facilities. Recent accomplishments include leading the development of the Real-time Affordable Multi-Pollutant (RAMP) monitor, co-leading the deployment of a 50 RAMP network in and around Pittsburgh, PA, and establishing the Africa qualité de l’air (AfriqAir) monitoring network, a collaborative international effort using reference-grade and lower-cost monitors in many cities across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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