Optical Particle Sizer

Project Title: Optical Particle Sizer

Long Title (if desired): Acquisition of an Optical Particle Sizer for Undergraduate student use

Project Lead's Name: Catherine Almquist

Project Lead's Email: almquic@MiamiOH.edu

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-0767

Project Lead's Division: CEC

Primary Department: Chemical, Paper, and Biomedical Engineering Department


List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: CPB, and any department that has students conducting projects on atmospheric aerosols or particle emissions from various processes (e.g. combustion sources, copy machines, drilling or sawing, or any particle-producing process).

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 8

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 1

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: Currently, we have a project that is investigating the emissions from various types of biomass briquettes. Our current method of assessing smoke formation is via filter samples. This requires pulling a sample through the filter until sufficient mass has been collected to weigh it gravimetrically. There are no differentiation between large and small particles with this method. However, particle size has a significant impact on how respirable particles are. Therefore, for both project work and student education, it would be beneficial to Miami University to have access to an instrument that can size aerosols.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: An optical particle sizer not only counts particles, but it also provides a particle size distribution. This information is important for both education and project work by students, since smaller particles are more respirable, hence more damaging to human health, than larger particles. In addition, there are significant differences between mass distributions of particles and number distributions of particles. This instrument will be available for students to sample aerosols and acquire their number and mass distributions. From this information, students can further assess the respirable fraction and potential for human health impacts. The instrument will have applicability in all engineering disciplines and some science disciplines.

How will you assess the success of the project: The project will be successful when the instrument is purchased and used by students in research, capstone projects, class projects and demonstrations, and independent studies. The acquisition of this instrument will give Miami more capability in aerosol sampling and characterization. Many projects will be opened up by the presence of this instrument on campus, because we will have the capability of characterizing particle size distributions of aerosols.

Total Amount Requested: $10,000.00

Budget Details: Price quote has been requested from TSI Model 3330. Informal estimate was $10,000.

Price quotes based upon google searches is ~$8,500. I am asking for $10,000 to purchase a new instrument from a reputable company such as TSI.

Is this a multi-year request: No

Please address how, if at all, this project impacts any of Miami's BCSAE, 2020, or divisional plans: This instrument can be used to support student projects and research in sustainability (environmental aerosols, aerosol emissions), novel materials for various applications (aerosol generation methods for nanoparticles), work place exposures to ambient aerosols (e.g. surgical smokes, grinding operations, solids handling operations), medical devices (e.g. electrocauterizing instruments and corresponding surgical smoke extractions), among many others. In a recent conference that I attended, many seminars were characterising the aerosol formation from cookstoves, biofuels compared to petroleum fuels, and the newest area of research is on the characterization of bioaerosols.