Urban Air Quality

Urban air quality is the resulting quality of air to which urban residents are exposed.  It is a complex mixture driven by emission sources and environmental sinks that interacts with topography, meteorology and ecology.  Baylor students study composition, chemistry and potential effects of urban air quality.

Urban air quality research at Baylor is all about field campaigns, collaborations, and instrumentation! 

Field Campaigns (2010-present)

  • Fort Worth Eagle Mountain Lake 2010 (Texas)
  • CalNex 2010 (California)
  • Shenzhen 2011 (China)
  • San Francisco Bay Area 2011-12 (California)
  • DISCOVER-AQ Houston 2013 (Texas)
  • Jones Forest 2016 (Texas)
  • PROPHET2016 (Michigan)
  • Jones Forest 2017 (post Hurricane Harvey, Texas)
  • San Antonio 2017 (Texas)
  • (BC)2 El Paso 2019 (Texas, see Photo)








Instrumentation and infrastructure

 Real-time Instrumentation

  • NOx (chemiluminescence with UV-LED photolytic converter)
  • Ozone ( chemiluminescence)
  • Ionicon QMS-300 compact proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer with cold trap at -30 °C to reduce water vapor interferences with VOC measurements (see Photo)
  • Tricolor Absorption Photometers (Brechtel, aerosol absorption measurements)
  • Aethalometer – aerosol absorption measurement (Magee, Inc)

Offline Samplers

  • Medium and High-volume particulate matter filter samples for offline chemical analysis (TSP, PM2.5 and PM1.0) (see photo)
  • Three Personal air samplers – Filter and resin tubes sampling.

Baylor Air Monitoring Trailer

  • A 16’ trailer for portable measurements, with lab bench, instrumentation racks, and fully walkable roof. (see photo)

Instrumentation and Lab Space

  • Two GC/MS instruments (Agilent)
  • One GC/MS/MS instrument (Thermo Sci) with a Markes Thermal Desorption System for offline VOC chemical speciation (see Photo)
  • Two Accelerated Solvent Extractions Systems (ASE 350, Thermo Sci.)
  • 2000 sq ft of state-of-the-art lab space and 2000 sq ft of off campus field preparation area.

The Sheesley and Usenko research groups often collaborate on urban air quality projects.

Sheesley Research Group

Usenko Research Group