Air quality sensor

Huge market potential

With air pollution as a growing health problem and environmental issue affecting city residents as well as the surrounding environment, the demand for competent and compact air quality sensors increases fast. According to the world health organization (WHO) air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk, with approximately 9 million deaths in 2015. 

For the Insplorion technology, enabling more robust, reliable, faster and smaller sensors at a competitive prize, the market potential is very strong.  

Lack of measurement options today

Traditionally, air pollution monitoring, for example measuring NOx, is done with a few very expensive, stationary and complex instruments. In Mumbai, a city of 4400 square kilometers and a population of over 20 million, only three measuring units are used. This makes it impossible to assess local variations and to take swift action, like regulating traffic flow. Even an environmentally alert city like Gothenburg, has until recently only had a handful measuring units.

Future sensors

New, miniaturized and energy effective sensors will enable networks with sensors at each street light, sensors in vehicles or small, personal units connected to your cell phone. This can be used to streamline city- and traffic planning as well as air climate control of buildings and vehicles. In a first step, Insplorions sensors will be used to measure NOx concentration.

Better and more accessible information

Authorities will also be able to provide more detailed and continually updated public information. Together with Internet of Things (IoT), mobile applications and new communication technology, geographically- and time relevant air quality information will be more publicly accessible.

Gothenburg develops a new air measuring standard

In Gothenburg, the digitalization project LoV-IoT (Air and water with Internet of Things) is underway, where air quality monitoring will be performed by small, low-price sensors installed on street lights and traffic cameras all over Gothenburg. For Insplorion it’s valuable to take part in a project where a cloud-based platform already is in place, with online connection and the possibility for comparison to other types of sensors. The project is described in Swedish in this article in the tech newspaper Ny Teknik.

” To get a better understanding of air pollution and get the opportunity to actively work with reducing emissions from vehicles, industrial processes or firewood, more extensive measurements than today, are necessary. The new sensor for NO2, developed by Insplorion, will be an important part of the puzzle, and is something that doesn’t exist on the market today, with high enough durability or measuring accuracy to be practically viable at a larger scale for a city”

Fredrik Hallgren at IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, which together with the city of Gothenburg are project leaders for the Lov-IoT project.

The benefits of Insplorion’s NPS technology

Insplorion’s proprietary NPS-technology has many advantages compared to available gas sensor technology. Since Insplorions technology measures films at nano level, the sensors will be possible to manufacture in a very compact format. Parallelization of the technology to enable detection of several gases will also therefore be possible without increasing either size or energy consumption. 

Stage of development

Besides the cooperation with the LoV – IoT project, the sensors are continually developed through a research collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology, to realize the full potential of the technology. At the end of 2017, the first field tests were performed. Strengthened by positive test results, steps are now taken to further develop the technology through more comprehensive field tests and prototypesto be able to present finished products down the line.