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1.

0 BACKGROUND STUDY
Air pollution involves pollutants in the form of gaseous or particulate matter
contaminating the air that we breathe in. It has become an international concern as pollutants
generated in one country can be deposited to another. Air pollution comes from various
resources, mainly industrial smoke stacks and motor vehicles. According to United States
Environmental Protection Agency or EPA (n.d), particulate matter from diesel- burning truck
or car exhaust has negative effect on the air quality and health of human being.
1.1 Air Pollutant
First of all, air pollutants can be classified into few categories. There are primary
pollutants and secondary pollutants. Primary pollutants consist of sulfur oxides, nitrogen
oxides and hydrocarbon that are emitted to the atmosphere whereas secondary pollutants are
from chemicals that are formed in the atmosphere through photochemical reaction, hydrolysis
or oxidation process. Aside from that, there are particulate pollutants. Particulate include dust,
fumes, smokes, fly ash, mist, and spray (Harrison, 2005).
Air quality can be measured using the Air Quality Index or AQI that calculates the
five major contaminants in air which are ground level ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen
dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter below 10 micrometer diameter (PM10). In our
project, we are trying to cater the problem with particulate pollutants that contaminating the
air. Various sources can produce particulate pollutants. Fine particulate which ranges from 2.5
micrometer and smaller is usually produced by industrial processes, power plant and vehicle
tailpipe, while coarse particulate that ranges between 2.5 and 10 micrometer is produced by
crushing and grinding operations, road dust and agricultural operations (EPA, 2013).
Particulate matter is the cause of several health problems like reducing lung function
by penetrating into the lungs, asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. This type of pollutant
is also highly hazardous when exposed to children. According to the AQI, when the index
measures AQI between 101 and 150, the air is starting to be polluted by the particulate
matters and the sensitive groups will first to be affected. The sensitive groups include people
with asthma or prone to lungs related disease or heart disease. The early symptoms that can
be seen affecting the sensitive groups are coughing and shortness of breath. As the AQI
increases higher than index 150, the air that is polluted by the particulate matter will affect
everyone and worse to the sensitive groups (Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution, 2013).
1.2 Air Filtration Methods

Based on the design idea that we have come up to counter the problem with the
particulate pollutants, we decided to install an air purifier on a bus. The air purifier consists of
two types of air filtrations. The air filtrations that we are using are the activated carbon
filtration and the High Efficiency Particulate Air filtration or commonly known as HEPA
filter. HEPA filters work by filtering 99.97% of 0.3 micrometer particles and larger impurities.
In dusty surrounding such as the bus surroundings, it is likely for the HEPA filters to have
high efficiency in removing all the impurities and particulate matters without having to clean
or replacing it often. The advantage of using HEPA filters is that it does not generate ozone or
harmful byproducts. However, the HEPA filter is not able to remove chemicals fumes and
smoke cigarette due to their diameters are smaller than 0.3 micrometer. Hence, activated
carbon filter is recommended to be included with the HEPA filter to improve its drawbacks.
Activated carbon filter functions to adsorb volatile chemicals due to the small absorbent pores
designed for the filter that react chemically as pollutants go through the filter.
The activated carbon filter works best by capturing chemicals fumes, gases and
cigarette smoke. However, the filter cannot remove larger particles. Activated carbon must
reach equilibrium in order for the adsorption process to occur therefore it is not easy to
remove the contaminants completely. Activated carbon is a process of changing the
contaminants from gaseous to solid phase. This process helps to remove the contaminants
when there is aggravated or disturbed contaminants regenerated inside of a vehicle (Different
Types of Air Filters, 2013).
1.3 Bus
A bus is a type of vehicle that can accommodates up to 300 passengers at one time.
The current bus that is globally used is powered by diesel engine. It has internal combustion
engine that uses the heat of compression to ignite and burn the fuel that has been injected to
the combustion chamber. However, studies have shown that we are likely to be exposed to
massive diesel exhaust due to the idling of the bus. Exhaust from the diesel contains fine
particulate matter. Diesel-fueled engine also emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile
organic compound and carbon monoxide which all pose serious health risk to the passenger
(Diesel Exhaust and School Bus Idling, n.d.).
In order to achieve our objective in reducing air pollution, we have chosen bus as a
device in carrying the air purifier considering of several reasons. First of all, bus is a common
public transport and it is widely used. By implementing the air purifier on the bus, larger area

of air can be cleaned. Besides that, the bus is a vehicle that uses diesel engine for it to
maneuver therefore it will produces and emits a large amount of contaminants to the air. The
air purifier is suggested to be installed on the bus to filter the emission the atmosphere.

2.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT


The problem of air pollution seems to be getting more and more concerning these
days, with the advancement of industries and transportations resulting in the increase of
contamination of the air due to their harmful emissions (Pollution Issues, n.d). To solve the
problem of air pollution, it is necessary to understand the issue and look for ways to counter
it. There are several main problems which hamper the efforts to reduce air pollution these
days, they are:
1. Industrial development: The development of most industries might result in the
increase of air pollutions due to the nature of methods used by the industries that are
rather harmful to the environment, specifically, the atmosphere. Manufacturing industries
release large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and
chemicals into the air thereby depleting the quality of air. Process such as refining and
processing the hydrocarbons are harmful to the environment. However, these methods
are used because they are proven to be effective to increase productivity thus neglecting
their impacts to the atmosphere (Causes, Effects, and solutions of Air Pollution, n.d).
2. Vehicle emission: Emission from most vehicles are major contributors to the current air
pollution issue because they release dangerous gases to the atmosphere such as carbon
monoxide, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxides which are harmful to human health.
3. Cost: Generally, it is rather costly to remodel the methods of transportation and industry
to become more eco-friendly and minimize the pollution. The cost associated to reduce
impacts to air pollution are more likely to reduce productivity for the industries, thus
more research to obtain the best and least expensive ways are still being conducted
(Reducing the Cost of Reducing Pollution, n.d) .
4. Limitations of current approach: The common approach taken nowadays to reduce air
pollution is by filtering the air with some kind of a filtration system, however, the current
air filtration system uses a lot of energy which is also expensive when applied on a larger
scale. The current outdoor filtration system is also quite static, meaning that mostly, it is
used to clean certain areas only such as parking lot or some outdoor spaces which means
that the purification cannot reach other areas which do not have the system installed.

3.0 OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this project is to reduce air pollution by creating a device to filter the
air that works dynamically by installing it on the sources that contributes to the pollution
itself, in this case, bus. In this project, we are going to use solar panel as our main energy to
power up the system because it is a cleaner source of energy. Objectives that we wish to
achieve by doing this project are:
a.
b.
c.
d.

To reduce concentration of particulate matter in the air.


To alleviate the air pollution in a more dynamic way.
To ensure that the air filtration system works well and efficient and can release clean air.
To further enhance our skill base in dealing with environmental problem with

engineering approach.
e. To create a user-friendly product so that it could be commercialized and benefits general
consumers.

4.0 DESIGN APPROACH/METHODOLOGY

4.1 Procedures
Based on our problem statement of our topics, Save the Environment, we decide to
focus on reduction of air pollution. The cause of air pollution, source of air pollution, and
effect to people and environment are identified (Research in Action, 2014). After researching
and brainstorming, we come up with an idea, mobile air purifier, which will be installed on
the top of the bus. The mobile air purifier is designed to be able to filter the air in the
atmosphere while the bus is moving on the road. Figure 1 is the design of the prototype.

Figure 1: Design of prototype

We aim to reduce concentration of particulate matter (PM) in the air. Activated carbon
filter and High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter were chosen as the purification
system. Activated carbon filter can remove odour, smoke and gases and can reduce
concentration of carbon dioxide. HEPA filter is used to reduce particular matter, dust and
contaminant with size larger than 0.3 microns. Since both of them are lightweight,
convenient, less energy usage and less expensive than other purification method, they are
most suitable for the mobile air purification system (Different Types of Air Filters, 2013).
The air purifier will be installed at the front on the roof of the bus. The air purifier will
have inlet at the front so that when bus is moving, the air will enter the purifier system. It is
considered the best position for highest absorption of air. Fan is installed in the air purifier to
suck in air even when the bus is stationary. The shape of the air purifier are designed to
minimize the air drag force on the system, thus to minimize addition fuel usage due to
addition drag force to the car. Mesh is installed at the front of the purifier to prevent large
particles like rocks from entering the system. Figure 2 shows mobile air purifier installed on
the roof of the bus.

Figure 2:

Mobile air
purifier on the roof of the bus.

Air will be sucked into the purifier by fan or due to motion of bus. The air will first
pass through the activated carbon filter then HEPA filter. Air will flow out from the end of the
purifier. Fan is powered up using solar energy. Solar panel is installed on top of the bus to
supply energy to the fan. The energy obtained will be used to charge the battery, which can
then be used to power up the fan at night when there is not sunlight. Figure 2 shows the air
filtration system used in mobile air purifier.

Air flow
in

Fan

Activat
ed
Carbon
Filter

HEPA
Air
Filter

Air flow
out

Figure 3: Air filtration system in mobile air purifier.

Limitation
1. The prototype will work well when the bus is stationary or moving at low speed. The
maximum speed the bus can achieved without damaging the purifier will be justified
during the testing.
2. The fan used for the prototype is PC fan instead of bigger powerful fan due to the limited
budget.

4.2 Plan and Schematic Flow Process of the Project


START

Select a topic
Define the problem
Brainstorm for ideas and analyse feasibility of the idea
Select an idea and name the idea

Consult supervisor
and get approval

NO

YES
Complete project proposal
Design Prototype
Design specification

Prototype fabrication
Quality of prototype
Good?
YES

NO

Improve the fabrication


prototype

Testing
Troubleshoot the
prototype

NO

YES
Is the prototype function well?

Complete progress
report

YES
Presentation and Exhibition
Final report

4.3 Hardware/Tools and Software

END

4.3.1 List of Hardware


No
.

Name

Description

Cost (RM)

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Activated Carbon Filter

To remove odours, chemical fumes, gases

50

HEPA filter

and cigarette smoke


To remove dust and contaminant that are

90

Fan
Solar Panel

larger than 0.3 micron


To suck in the air
To converts the energy of light directly into

15
40

Rechargeable battery
Plastic
Connection wires
Electronic components

electricity by the photovoltaic effect


To store converted energy
To build the frame of the purifier
To connect electronic parts
To make circuit

22
-

4.3.2 List of Tools


No

Name

Description

.
1.

Multi Meter

To measure the voltage of the system and for

2.
3.

Soldering tool
Hand tools, cutting

troubleshooting purpose
To make wire connection
Used to build prototype model, such as saw, measuring

tools and other

tape, knife and etc

mechanical tools
4.3.3 List of Software
No

Name

Description

.
1.
2.
3.

AutoCAD
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Word

Used for 3D modelling.


Used to tabulate and analyse data
Used for documentation and report preparation

5.0 PROJECT MANAGEMENT.


5.1 Organization Chart.

Supervisor
Dr. Nurul Izma
Mohammed

Project Manager
Eileen Wong Wee Chin

Treasure
Nur Shahira Bt.
Samsudin

Secretary
Arevind Chelvin A/L
Malaichelvan

5.2 Job Scope


Group Members

Descriptions

Design Department
Luqman Bin Md Saad
Muhamad Iman Elhasan
Firdaus Munasir Putra

Eileen Wong Wee Chin (ME)

1. Planning and managing details of the weekly


tasks
2. Monitoring the task given.
3. In charge in direct communication with
supervisor
4. Responsible in conducting test and
experiment on prototype.
1. Give assistance to the project manager.
2. Documentation.
3. Recording of all group activities.
4. Providing support in Chemical Engineering
related field and beyond.
1. Managing the project accounts and
settlement of the project claim.
2. Make the budget and made sure the
prototype is within the budget.
3. Apply the knowledge of Civil Engineering
on the prototype.
4. Ensuring the team does not miss any
requirement of the project.
1. Prototype designing and construction.
2. Research on the effect of movement to the
connection of the prototype.
3. Perform stress and strength analysis
4. Providing logistics for the project.

Arevind Chelvan A/L Malaichelvan


(CHE)

Nur Shahira Bt. Samsudin (CV)

Luqman Bin Md Saad (CHE)

Muhamad Iman Elhasan Firdaus


Munasir Putra (PE)

1. Prototype designing and construction.


2. Providing logistics for the project.
3. Record data and any errors in experiment.
4. Execute additional research on advantages
and disadvantages of materials and project.

Week
Seminar 1 (ETP
Briefing)
Group Organization
& Brainstorming
Research on topic

1
24/
9

GANTT CHART
4
5
6
7

10

11

12

13

Consult Supervisor
Seminar II
Data Collection for
Proposal
Literature Review
Draft Proposal
Submission
Finalize Proposal
Project Proposal
Submission
Lab Safety Briefing
Work on Progress
Report
Design Solution
Cost Analysis
Fabrication of
Prototype
Purchase Required
Tool & Material
Construction of The
Prototype
Progress Report Due
Seminar IV
Submission of Form
03
Prototype Testing
Poster Designing
Consult Supervisor
Final Check On The
Prototype
Poster & Product
Demo( Pre- SEDEX)
SEDEX

Submission Peer
Evaluation Form
Submission of Claim
Form & Receipts
Submission of Final
Report

5.3 GANTT CHART

6.0 APPENDIX
6.1 Reference

1/1
0

10
/1
0
15/
10

5/1
1
12/
11
12/
11

26/
11
3/1
2
1011/
12
17/
12
17/
12

Air Pollution: Understanding the Problem and Ways to Help Solve It, 11 October 2014, from
http://www.air-n-water.com/air-pollution.htm
Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution, 2013, 10 October 2014, from
http://www.epa.gov/airnow/air-quality-guide_pm_2013.pdf
Diesel Exhaust and School Bus Idling, 10 October 2014, from
http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/diesel/School_bus_idling_MAR.pdf
Different Types of Air Filters, 2013, 10 October 2014, from
http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/general-health/air/diff-types-of-air-filters.php
Dwight, R. L., 2001, Reducing the Cost of Reducing Pollution, 11 October 2014, from
http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/reducing-the-cost-of-reducing-pollution
Earth Air Purification system, 11 October 2014, from
www.fujita.com/uploads/technologies/1/EAP
Environmental Pollution, 11 October 2014, from http://www.pollutionissues.com/NaPh/Petroleum.html
Harrison, R. M., 2005, Sources of air pollution, 10 October 2014, from
http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/78638/E90038.pdf
Nelson, J., 2011, Reducing Air Pollution is Well Worth the Cost, 11 October 2014, from
http://www.desmogblog.com/reducing-air-pollution-well-worth-cost
Research in Action, 2014, 10 October 2014, from
http://www.epa.gov/heasd/research/air_pollution.html
What is Air pollution?, 11 October 2014, from http://www.conserve-energyfuture.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-air-pollution.php