Near-Road Monitoring Study
2012 – Present

This is a pilot study in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), and Metro Vancouver, that investigates the impacts of vehicle emissions and anthropogenic activities on near-road and urban environments.

  • Four sites were deployed in Toronto and two in Vancouver, with three near-road and three background sites.
  • Instrumentation is extensive and includes:
    • Gas analyzers for measuring CO2, CO, NOx, O3, SO2
    • SHARP 5030 for PM2.5 measurement
    • Condensation particle counter (CPC), Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS), Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), and an ultrafine particle monitor (TSI3031) for particle number and size distribution measurements
    • Photoacoustic soot spectrometer (PASS-3) and aethalometer (AE33) to measure black carbon
    • Metals monitor (Xact 625) for metals monitoring
    • Proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) and continuous gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) instruments to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    • Aerosol Chemical Specialization Monitor (ACSM) for particle chemical speciation

  • Given the vast amount of data continuously being collected at high time resolution, datalogging considerations includes Campbell Scientific dataloggers, Envidas Ultimate logging, and SQL Server database use and programming.
  • A mobile sampling platform was used to collect spatially diverse measurements across Toronto and chase vehicles in order to determine emission factors.

Real-World Vehicle Emission Factors
2012 – Present

Vehicle emission factors were calculated using data from measurements made at a near-road monitoring site in downtown Toronto. Using high time resolution 1 Hz measurements, an algorithm was developed to identify vehicle plumes and calculate emission factors of each plume.

  • Instrumentation included gas analyzers measuring CO2, CO, NOx; a condensation particle counter (CPC) and fast mobility particle sizer (FMPS); a photoacoustic soot spectrometer (PASS-3);a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS).
  • The plume identification and emission factor algorithm was developed in Igor Pro in order to isolate the contribution of vehicle emissions to the urban canyon environment.

Greenhouse Gas Flux Measurements at Haliburton Forest

Ecosystem-scale greenhouse gas fluxes were calculated by eddy covariance using 10 Hz time resolution measurement data of methane, carbon dioxide, and local meteorology.

  • Instrumentation included an off-axis integrated cavity ring-down spectrometer (OA-ICOS) and a 3-D sonic anemometer, where measurements were made from the top of a 30 m scaffolding tower above the forest canopy.
  • Data processing was done using Igor Pro, using a in-house program built to calculate fluxes by eddy covariance.
msc research