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Method and System for Monitoring Airborne Contaminants

Background: Indoor air pollution has been identified as being among the top five environmental health risks. Air contaminants stem from both the components of the building itself and human activities and natural conditions in and around the building. There are a multitude of indoor environments that require air pollution monitoring - ranging from aircrafts and submarines to commercial buildings and storage units. Current methods to sample and monitor air contaminants are expensive difficult to use for those not trained in the field and intrusive to the area they monitor. Technology Description: Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a novel system that can easily economically remotely and rapidly monitor the air quality of closed or semi-closed environments. This system can qualitatively and quantitatively assess the air quality in all buildings or environments particularly those with HVAC duct work or an air recirculation system. The process is cost effective and sampling and monitoring can be performed by non-technical personnel as the system does not require specials skills or training. Moreover real-time sensors can be utilized to enable early warning/immediate response mechanisms. This technology represents a novel and viable process that can effectively capture indoor air pollution in an effort to monitor contaminants where air quality may be of concern. Applications: 1) Environmental and Occupational Health: 2) Monitoring of environments with centralized ventilation and/or limited ventilation including submarines aircrafts malls mines homes etc. 3) Monitoring of environments with significant sources of contamination including storage units homes close to industrial sites etc. 4) Law Enforcement 5) Monitoring structures to screen for illicit drugs explosives bioterrorism agents etc. 6) Homeland Security 7) Monitoring of aircraft cabins or other environments for hazardous substances including biological chemical and radiological agents (viruses weaponized bacterial strains toxins toxicants etc.)


1) Cost-effective - can be implemented on units already present in subject environment 2) Ease of use 3) Can be sampled and monitored by non-technical personnel 4) Can provide either time-averaged or time-discrete data 5) Remote monitoring - technician does not have to be on site 6) Non-intrusive/covert - the system can be hidden 7) Rapid monitoring

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