Our experiment will indicate whether common household items that we have chosen is effective in filtrating dust particles from smoke and can be used as a cheaper alternative to get rid of dust in smoke which is present in a common example of air pollution in Singapore, haze. Our hypothesis is that the light intensity measured through the bottle will be the most when activated carbon is used to filter the dust particles from the smoke. This is one of the reasons that caused us to be devoted towards this research on smoke particles.
One of the main concerns of the people of Singapore is the Hungry Ghost period. The discharge of smoke is relatively higher than other periods in the year. During the Hungry Ghost period, concentrations of small pollutant particles known as PM2.5 increase the chances of humans and animals inhaling them into the bodies due to their relatively small particle size. The particles include metallic elements such as lead and tin, and have been linked to health issues, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
In particular, nine metals are considered hazardous air pollutants – chromium, manganese, nickel, cobalt, arsenic, cadmium, tin, antimony and lead.
A research is done in Journal of the American Medical Association found that continuous exposure to PM2.5 might result in plaque deposits in arteries, leading to vascular inflammation and hardening of the arteries which can eventually end up in heart attack and stroke. The above health dangers are posed by the smoke produced from joss sticks.
Hence, we decided to use joss sticks as our source of smoke (dust) particles.
Based on our previous study findings (refer to preliminary findings and annex), we found out that the higher the amount of PM2. , the higher the risk of obtaining several illnesses such as respiratory, heart, lung etc. diseases. The precautions to be executed has also increased. Hence, this study shows the high level of toxicity in this specific particle, PM2.5, which is relatively similar to smoke particles. Hence, we decided to find out how to reduce the amount of these dust particles in the air. Thereafter, we decided to compare the alternatives to do so. However, in order to this, we will first have to eliminate some of the choices.
After our research, we have discovered many choices of purifiers. There are many ways to naturally purify the air. Firstly, House Plants. Plants can naturally purify the air, common plants with such abilities is the weeping fig and snake plant. Secondly, is essential oils. When essential oils burn, not only do their scents purify the air, but they also offer many health benefits. Lastly, is Activated Charcoal, which is also known as Activated carbon, activated charcoal filters can naturally filter and purify the air. In addition, they do not release any odor. These filters are also easily found in stores and/or online.
Some other alternatives are: beeswax candles, salt lamps and bamboo charcoal. Pure Beeswax Candles burn with almost no smoke or scent and clean the air by releasing negative ions into the air. These negative ions can bind with toxins and help remove them from the air.Beeswax candles are often especially helpful for those with asthma or allergies and they are effective at removing common allergens like dust and dander from the air. Beeswax candles also burn more slowly than paraffin candles so they last much longer.They are made from himalayan salt crystals and just like the beeswax candles, they release negative ions into the air to help clean it. Charcoal can have the same toxin-removing effect on the air. We use bamboo charcoal in burlap bags in our house. They work wonders for odor removal and removing toxins from the air.
Next, we worked more on the elimination of alternatives. Firstly, we looked at the house plants, weeping fig and snake plant (as mentioned above). These two species of plants are relatively exotic for us to find, hence, we decided to reject this alternative. Following, is the essential oils. Although there are many advantages of essential oils, but it is relatively not accessible for us, with one bottle being over 15 bucks. Taking into consideration for the accessibility of other people too,we removed that option.In addition, we are also not confident in the burning of essential oils.
Beeswax appeared as a common material on the web as an air purifier. However, not everyone can afford or own beeswax. Thus we look into other alternatives of it. We found out that lip balm contains beeswax and we all agree that lip balm is a cheaper and more common.Then, we were interested in finding out if lip balm that only contains partial helps with the removal of dust particles. Secondly, we chose the orange peel as it is a natural and common material. Additionally, it is affordable as the peel that we are using comes with the orange that one purchased making a cheap alternative. Lastly, we picked activated carbon as it is the most common research finding that came out as ‘cheap objects that helps reduce air pollution’. It is also used in air purifiers that is costly. Thus, these are the materials we will be experimenting on with our hypothesis as activated carbon is the most effective one in removing dust particles.
For the decision of light source, one of which that were considered was an LED torchlight with lower colour temperature. An LED with lower color temperature will help reduce dispersal. Lower color temperatures contain longer wave lengths, hence, they are reflected less by rain or fog. Therefore, red and yellow-toned LED bulbs are optimal over blue and bright white.
Visibility depends on the density of the smoke. Thinner smoke will allow more penetration of light, but thick black smoke will require thermal imaging. In the end, we decided to reject the idea of LED lights, as it is relatively expensive. Therefore, we came to a conclusion of using a light source, (Torchlight) and a light sensor. The principle of the experiment is to find out the amount of light measured by the light sensor, after passing through the bottle containing smoke particles and a purifier. hence , coming to our hypothesis: Activated carbon is the best choice in removing dust.
We adapted the methodology, in preparing the set-up (What type of spot light would I need …) to test our hypothesis. This idea of using light to measure the approximate amount of dust is adapted for our experiment. By using that concept, we can compare the effectiveness of the filtration properties of each material so that we can conclude which works best. In part 1 of the experiment shows how we prepare the set-up which is a long funnel (long transparent bottle) for the smoke particles to rise up for accurate measurement. In part 2 of the experiment is where we start measuring and comparing the level of light intensity with the light sensor by observing the percentage of smoke particles and finally drawing graphs to show which household object is most effective in filtrating smoke particles.