Measuring the Air Quality Using Low-Cost Air Sensors in a Parking Garage at University of Minnesota, USA

Andres Gonzalez, Adam M Boies, Jacob J Swanson, David Kittelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The concentration of air pollutants in underground parking garages has been found to be higher compared to ambient air. Vehicle emissions from cold starts are the main sources of air pollution in underground parking garages. Eight days of measurements, using low-cost air sensors, were conducted at one underground parking garage at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. The CO, NO, NO2, and PM2.5 daily average concentrations in the parking garage were measured to be higher, by up to more than an order of magnitude, compared to the ambient concentration. There is positive correlation between exit traffic flow and the air concentrations in the parking garage for lung deposited surface area (LDSA), CO2, NO, and CO. Fuel specific emission factors were calculated for CO, NO, and NOx. Ranging from 25 to 28 g/kgfuel for CO, from 1.3 to 1.7 g/kgfuel for NO, and from 2.1 to 2.7 g/kgfuel for NOx. Regulated emissions were also calculated for CO and NOx with values of 2.4 to 2.9 and 0.19 to 0.25 g/mile, respectively. These emissions are about 50% higher than the 2017 U.S. emission standards for CO and nearly an order magnitude higher for NOx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15223
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. We thank our colleagues from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, specially Mugurel Turos and Bernard Olson. We would like also thank Ben Schnabel at Public Parking|Parking and Transportation Services.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • air pollutants
  • air pollution
  • fuel emissions
  • gases
  • low-cost sensors
  • particles
  • underground parking garage


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