Date of Completion

Spring 5-11-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Kristina Wagstrom

Honors Major

Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering


Particulate matter (PM) or particle pollution is one of the six criteria air pollutants that can cause harm to human health and the environment; yet, there is a lack of data in many areas of the United States. Particulate matter is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air (EPA). Exposure to PM2.5 has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. People who live in urban areas are more likely to be exposed to particulate matter as many urban areas are known to have poor air quality. Our goal is to determine how particulate matter levels in the North End of Hartford, CT impact residents’ pollution exposure using a network of low-cost sensors. First, the team developed programming in MATLAB to process data, which included outlier methodology, eliminating duplicate data and plotting hourly or daily averages. Next, we reached out to community centers and concerned citizens to discuss installing monitors on their property. We then accessed the site, deployed PurpleAir PA-II-SD monitors across North Hartford, CT and collected PM2.5 concentrations data over the course of several months. To communicate our findings to the community, we issue quarterly reports on their PM2.5 pollution exposure. Equipped with concrete data, residents of North Hartford can be informed about their air and be empowered to advocate for improvements in air quality in the area.