Spatio-temporal measurement of indoor particulate matter concentrations using a wireless network of low-cost sensors in households using solid fuels

Sameer Patel, Jiayu Li, Apoorva Pandey, Shamsh Pervez, Rajan K. Chakrabarty, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Many households use solid fuels for cooking and heating purposes. There is currently a knowledge gap in our understanding of the variations in indoor air quality throughout the household as most of the studies focus on the areas in the close proximity of the cookstove. A low-cost wireless particulate matter (PM) sensor network was developed and deployed in households in Raipur, India to establish the spatio-temporal variation of PM concentrations. The data from multiple sensors were acquired in real-time with a wireless system. Data collected from the sensors agreed well (R 2 =0.713) with the reference data collected from a commercially available instrument. Low spatial variability was observed within the kitchen due to its small size and poor ventilation – a common feature of most rural Indian kitchens. Due to insufficient ventilation from open doors and windows, high PM concentrations similar to those found in the kitchen were also found in the adjoining rooms. The same household showed significantly different post-extinguished cookstove PM concentration decay rates (0.26 mg/m 3 -min and 0.87 mg/m 3 -min) on different days, owing to varying natural air exchange rates (7.68 m 3 /min and 37.40 m 3 /min).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES) Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) and the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environmental Partnership (MAGEEP). S. Patel thanks the McDonnell International Scholars Academy of WUSTL, and Arch Coal Inc. for graduate fellowship. Authors thank graduate students of School of Studies in Chemistry at Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University in Raipur, India, for providing field support. Partial support from NSF, United States (grant no. AGS1455215 and CBET 1437933) and NASA, United States (grant no. NNX15AI66G) are also gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cookstoves
  • Household air pollution
  • Indoor air quality
  • Low-cost instrumentation
  • Spatio-temporal PM


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