Measurement and improvement of air quality

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Environment (first cycle)

Objectives and competences

The students will familiarize themselves with the impact of gaseous and particulate air pollution on health, which is the underlying reason for the regulation in this field. They will understand the relationships between measurement methods, measured parameters and the regulations. They will get to get to know different in-situ and remote measurement methods and the application of these methods and source apportionment methods to the improvement of air quality. They will carry out measurements during field work and process the data. the seminar will help them to understand the details of aerosol measurements.


In order to successfully understand the material requires the prior knowledge of some chapters of chemistry, physics, meteorology and mathematics.


  • Gases and particles in the atmosphere
  • Health effects of air pollution
  • Regulation in EU and US, international conventions
  • Measurement methods – in-situ:
    * size distribution
    * absorption
    * scattering
    * mass concentration
    * chemical composition
    * aerosol mass spectrometers

  • Measurement methods – remote detection:


  • AOD
  • satelite measurements

  • Source apportionment:

  • CMB

  • PMF
  • Aethalometer model

  • Lowering local air pollution

  • Regional and global aspects of pollution and regulation

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Students know how to describe and explain:

  • the impact of air pollution on health,
  • different measurement methods to determine the gas and particle properties in ambient air,
  • different source apportionment methods,
  • the regulations in the EU and US,
  • the importance of local, regional and global effects of air pollution and differences between them.

The students learn about the holistic approach to measurements of air pollution and source apportionment. They know how to plan a simple measurement campaign, apply a source apportionment model and write a report.


Written examination (60%), Seminar work (10%), Report from praticals (30%)

Lecturer's references

Associate professor in the field of physics of the atmosphere at Univeristy of Nova Gorica.

  • DRINOVEC, Luka, MOČNIK, Griša, ZOTTER, P., PREVOT, A. S. H., RUCKSTUHL, C., COZ, E., RUPAKHETI, M., SCIARE, Jean, MÜLLER, T., WIEDENSOHLER, A., HANSEN, Anthony D. A. The "dual-spot" Aethalometer : an improved measurement of aerosol black carbon with real-time loading compensation. Atmospheric measurement techniques, ISSN 1867-1381, 2015, no. 8, str. 1965-1979, ilustr., doi: 10.5194/amt-8-1965-2015.

  • ZOTTER, P., HERICH, Hanna, GYSEL, Martin, EL-HADDAD, Imad, ZHANG, Yanling, MOČNIK, Griša, HÜGLIN, Christoph, BALTENSPERGER, Urs, SZIDAT, Sönke, PREVOT, Andre S. H. Evaluation of the absorption Ångström exponents for traffic and wood burning in the Aethalometer based source apportionment using radiocarbon measurements of ambient aerosol. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, ISSN 1680-7316, 2017, vol. 17, no. 6, str. 4229-4249, doi: 10.5194/acp-2016-621.

  • PLATT, Stephen M., JEŽEK, Irena, DRINOVEC, Luka, MOČNIK, Griša, et al. Secondary organic aerosol formation from gasoline vehicle emissions in a new mobile environmental reaction chamber. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, ISSN 1680-7316, 2013, vol. 13, no. 18, str. 9141-9158, doi: 10.5194/acp-13-9141-2013.

  • INVERNIZZI, Giovanni, RUPRECHT, Ario, MAZZA, Roberto, DE MARCO, Cinzia, MOČNIK, Griša, SIOUTAS, Constantinos, WESTERDAHL, Dane. Measurement of black carbon concentration as an indicator of air quality benefits of traffic restriction policies within the ecopass zone in Milan, Italy. Atmospheric environment, ISSN 1352-2310. [Print ed.], 2011, vol. 45, issue 21, str. 3522-3527, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.04.008.

  • OGRIN, Matej (avtor, fotograf), VINTAR MALLY, Katja, PLANINŠEK, Anton, GREGORIČ, Asta, DRINOVEC, Luka, MOČNIK, Griša, OGRIN, Darko (urednik). Nitrogen dioxide and black carbon concentrations in Ljubljana, (GeograFF, 18). 1st ed. Ljubljana: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete, 2016. 118 str., ilustr. ISBN 978-961-237-816-5.