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Previous DustScan Research

Much of the original research that established and validated the DustScan Sticky Pad method of dust monitoring was undertaken at Leeds University, but subsequent work has played an important part in our recent investigations. Two key areas have been covered in work since 2007; firstly the development of sticky pads with an adhesive that permits the removal of dust for detailed chemical and other analysis and secondly the investigation of dust geochemistry using dust collected on our sticky pads.

Development of New Adhesives

In 2007/08 DustScan received funding from Finance South East to develop and validate a new sticky pad adhesive that could also be used in a dust deposition gauge. Both were subsequently developed (see Datson H et al (2012) Source apportionment of industrial fugitive dusts: developments in passive dust monitoring. In Proceedings of the INEF 2011, Cambridge UK, RSC Publishing). The new adhesive can be removed in certain organic solvents such that dust can be released for weighing and for subsequent detailed physical and chemical analysis. By this means the DustScan deposition gauge can not only be used to measure AAC and EAC, but also to record the mass of dust collected.

Development of Geochemical Investigations

Initial investigations commenced before the new adhesive had been developed, but work supported by the KTP (between SEES and Grundon Waste Management Ltd) and undertaken by Ben Williams, Mike Fowler and Hugh Datson has allowed for important geochemical data to be collected by dissolving the whole sticky pad and allowing for corrections for the chemistry of the blank sticky pad. Now dust is removed from sticky pads and mass as well as proportions of specific elements can be determined. We have been able to use these geochemical techniques both to show the extent of dispersion of specific dust from sites and to fingerprint dust from specific sources. This is particularly important when dust is arising from multiple sources in a heavily industrialised location.

Dust Dispersion Mapping

The firm now offers this capability. Our understanding is based on the findings of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project funded by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovation UK) which involved input by the University of Portsmouth’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The Research Associate, John Bruce now works for DustScan. We can now model dust emissions from construction and related sites and to link this to dust dispersion, monitored using the DustScan equipment and methods. Usually dust monitoring has been at the site boundary of potential dust sources, but a detailed investigation of source-pathway-receptor settings has revealed interesting findings the enable us to undertake site-specific dust emission factors used in the modelling. John is continuing R&D in this area and we are investigating the extent to which the mineral components of dust vary between source and receptor.

Please let us know if this work is of interest; any clients who might be interested in co-operating with this work please contact Professor Geoffrey Walton or John Bruce.