Due to the adverse effects on human health and the environment, air quality monitoring, specifically particulate matter (PM), has received increased attention over the last decades. Most of the research and policy actions have been focused on decreasing PM pollution and the development of air monitoring technologies, resulting in a decline of total ambient PM concentrations. For these reasons, there is a continually increasing interest in mobile, low-cost, and real-time PM detection instruments in both indoor and outdoor environments. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, there is no recent literature review on the development of newly designed mobile and compact optical PM sensors. With this aim, this paper gives an overview of the most recent advances in mobile optical particle counters (OPCs) and camera-based optical devices to detect particulate matter concentration. Firstly, the paper summarizes the particulate matter effects on human health and the environment and introduces the major particulate matter classes, sources, and characteristics. Then, it illustrates the different theories, detection methods, and operating principles of the newly developed portable optical sensors based on light scattering (OPCs) and image processing (camera-based sensors), including their advantages and disadvantages. A discussion concludes the review by comparing different novel optical devices in terms of structures, parameters, and detection sensitivity.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited