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Group of Atmospheric Aerosol Research (GAAR)



Contact (Group leader)

RNDr. Jan Hovorka, Ph.D., +420 221 951 910, jan.hovorka@natur.cuni.cz

The Laboratory for Air Quality Research (CZ)

Research | Education | Members | AAAR Student Chapter | Publications


The Laboratory for Air Quality Research is accredited according ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2015 for:

  • Measurements of aerosol particle size and number concentration, including nanoparticles


All the information is available on the presentation card (PDF).

Research Area

  • Physical and chemical characteristics of size-segregated atmospheric aerosol, highly-time resolved sampling using mobile station
  • Aerosol source apportionment based on receptor models (PMF)
  • Toxicity/genotoxicity of size-segregated aerosol particles
  • Airship measurements - vertical and horizontal size and mass distribution of atmospheric aeosol in a boundary layer
  • Controlled aerosol sampling on a filter during the airship flight for SEM-EDX evaluation and source identification
  • Experimental resuspension chamber in laboratory for study of aerosol particles behaviour
  • Experimental wind-tunnel: Study of aerosol particles deposition on different material and surfaces

Research Goals

To get better knowledge of aerosol particles distribution within the planetary boundary layer, aerosol properties, behaviour, sources and health impact. Effort to improve situation in polluted localities. Provide information and resulst to the public, state and local administration. Education and popularization of the aerosol science.


Air quality monitoring station in Ostrava, 2014 (foto: Jan Bendl)

Airship for aerosol size distribution measurement over the highway, 2014 (foto: Jan Bendl)

Instrumentation and measured parameters

Portable instruments, which can measure inependently indoor/outdoor in a waterproof enclosures:

  • 12 DustTrak 8520 monitors (TSI) for PM10/PM2,5/PM1 aerosol particles concentration measurement
  • DustTrak DRX 8533 (TSI) for PM10, PM2,5 a PM1 aerosol particles concentration measurement
  • P-Trak 8525 (TSI) for number size distribution of aerosol particles in a range 0,02 - 1 µm
  • Meteorological station: wind speed and wind direction, global radiation, relative humidity and temperature
  • Remote thermometer, GPS, etc.

Parameters measured by devices belonging the mobile station:

  • PM10 on-line radiometric measurement: Beta Gaug FH 62 I-R, 1 hour intagration time
  • On-line number and mass size-distribution of atmospheric aerosol in a range 14,5 – 734 nm (SMPS 3936 LN25) and 0,53 – 10 µm (APS 3321 firmy TSI), 5 min. integration time
  • Aerosol particles and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in fractions >10 µm, 1 - 10 µm, 0,5 - 1 µm, 0,17 - 1 µm, <0,17 µm (High-Volume Cascade Impactor BGI 900; 24 hour integration time, 900 l/min. flow-rate, sampling for toxicology stdies)
  • Organic/Elementary Carbon (OC/EC) in PM2,5 (OC/EC by Sunset laboratory Inc.; 1 hour intagration time)
  • 27 elements in fractions 0,12 – 0,34 µm, 0,3 – 1,15 µm, > 1,15 µm (3 DRUM by UC Davis, 1 hour intagration time) and fractions 0,09 – 0,26 mm, 0,26-0,34 mm, 0,34 – 0,56 mm, 0,56 – 0,75 mm, 0,75 – 1,15 mm, 1,15 – 2,5 mm, 2,5 - 5 mm, 5 - 10 mm (8 DRUM by Streetman precision Inc.; 1 hour intagration time). 27 elements is determined by SXRF spektrometry (ALS Berkeley, USA).
  • On-line concentration of NOx, O3, CO, SO2, CH4, NMHC (HORIBA: APCA-360, APNA–360, APHA-360, APSA – 360, APOA-360; 5 min. intagration time)
  • Aerosol mass size-distribution in fractions < 0,25 mm, 0,25 – 0,5 mm, 0,5 – 1,0 mm, 1,0 – 2,5 mm, 2,5 - 10 mm according to US EPA (Personal Cascade Impactor SIOUTAS; 24 hour intagration time)
  • Meteorological station: Wind-speed and wind-direction (Wind-sonic), global radiation (Thies), temperature and humidity (Commeter) with 5 minutes integration time; size and number of hydrometeors and their settling velocity for the total rainfall calculation (disdrometr Thies) with 1 minute integration time

Winter-time air quality measurements in the city of  Mladá Boleslav, 2013 (foto: Jan Bendl)

Instruments used for airship measurements:

  • DustTrak DRX 8533 (TSI): PM10, PM2,5 a PM1
  • P-Trak 8525 (TSI): aerosol particle number in range from 0,02 to 1 µm
  • NanoScan SMPS 3910 (TSI): aerosol size distribution in range from 10 to 420 nm in 13 channels

Instruments in the Laboratory for Air Quality Research:

  • Resuspension chamber (volume 0.437 m3) with APS 3321 and SIOUTAS for SEM-EDX
  • Wind tunnel 
  • Flow-box
  • Sartorius MC 210 S semi-micro balance

Resuspension chamber in the laboratory (foto: Jan Bendl, Miroslav Klán)

Main Projects

  • Centre of Excelence for nanotechnology CENATOX (GAČR P503/12/G147)
  • Metodics of Experimental Evaulation of Aerosol Particle Sources, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR), TH02030238
  • Highly time- and size-resolved concentrations of atmospheric aerosol and its constituents for resolution its sources and genotoxicity, 2008-2011, Ministerstvo životního prostředí ČR ( SP/1A3/149/08)
  • Vertical/horizontal aerosol profiling within atmospheric boundary layer, Grantová agentura UK, (GAUK-1354314)
  • Contribution of atmospheric aerosol sources to intermodal fraction, Grantová agentura UK, (GAUK-242213)

Cooperation with industry and local administration

Aerosol measurements over coal mine, 2012 (foto: Jan Bendl)

Partnership and collaborations

Academic partners

Public and Private sector


Education, from left to right: Jan Hovorka, Jana Kozáková, Cecilia Leoni a Martina Píšová (foto: Jan Bendl)

Available lectures:

Aerosol team members and its work

European Aerosol Conference EAC 2013 in Prague, airship (foto: Jan Hovorka, Jan Bendl)

Teachers and academic workers

RNDr. Jan Hovorka, Ph.D. (advisor and team leader)
Phone: +420 221 951 910, jan.hovorka@natur.cuni.cz
Publications are available at Research Gate
Personal page.

RNDr. Petra Pokorná, Ph.D.
Research Gate
Personal page

RNDr. Naděžda Zíková, Ph.D.
Research Gate
Personal page

Ph.D. Students

Mgr. Jan Bendl (AAAR Student Chapter)
Research Gate
Personal page

Mgr. Miroslav Klán
Personal page

Mgr. Jana Kozáková
Research Gate
Personal page

Cecilia Leoni, M.Sc.
Research Gate
Personal page

Master degree

Bc. Barbora Basslerová

Bc. Eliška Čejková

Bc. Veronika Dočekalová

Bc. Olga Granici

Bc. Nikola Kuželová

Bc. Viktoriia Lebedenko

Bc. Nikola Novotná

Mgr. Martina Píšová


AAAR Student Chapter

The first international AAAR Student Chapter was established at Charles University in the year 2014. It is the student club organized by American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). Information about goals and rules of the club is here.

Chris Hannigan from AAAR wrote about our Student Chapter in AAAR Particulars (E-Newsletter of the AAAR, summer 2016):
"Students at Charles University in Prague organized the first international AAAR Student Chapter last year. The students have been busy in their first year with educational activities that include the development of a field course in aerosol experimentation. They have also been active socially, and have even begun beekeeping as a group on campus!"


27.-28. 4. 2016: Field Course at Blatná, aerosol experimentation 
5. 5. 2015: Public lectures at STUŽ: "Low-emissions zones". Video and pdf are available here
5. 10. 2013:  Public lectures at STUŽ: "Aerosol particles in the airshed - heating season begins". Video and pdf are available zde

AAAR Student Chapter Members have own bee hives at University Campus. Since 2014 we are producing our own honey and learning students how to do it. 
AAAR Student Chapter Member Miroslav Klán arranged concert of his group The Blue Box for students.

Aerosol experiments for young students, Viktoriia Lebedenko and Cecilia Leoni in Ostrava, NASA center in Orlandu during AAAR Conference (foto: Jan Bendl)


Popularization of the research

The "Mystery Well" - natural cloud chamber experiments, 2013, Jan Hovorka and Robert F. Holub (foto: Jan Bendl)

Natural cloud chamber measurements in Broumov, 2013

An article "The mystery “Well”: A natural cloud chamber?" is available at Research gate

Jan Hovorka with press in Ostrava, 2015 (foto: Jan Bendl)

Source apportionment and air quality measurement in Ostrava, 2014

An article "Source apportionment of size resolved particulate matter at a European air pollution hot spot" is available at Research gate.
Czech documentary from our measurements :

Publications (selection of the latest)

International Conferences

35th. AAAR Conference in Portland, Oregon (2016)

Abstracts are available at official AAAR site

  • Bendl, J., Hovorka, J., Bartonova, T., Svecova, V., Leoni, C., Klan, L., Matejicek, L. (2016). Impact of Residential Heating to Temporal/Spatial Variability of Size-segregated Aerosol Mass and Number at the Urban Microscale Level.
  • Hovorka, J., Leoni, C., Docekalova, V., Cajthaml, T., Marvanova, S. (2016). Industry Originated Particles, 36 nm in Diameter, Highly Enriched with PAHs, Significantly Contribute to Human Exposure at a European Air Pollution Hot-spot.
  • Pokorna, P., Hovorka, J., Zhao, Y., Cliff, S., Paatero, P., Hopke, P. K. (2016). Source Apportionment of Time and Size Resolved Ambient Particulate Matter Measured with a Drum Impactor at a European Air Pollution Hot Spot.
  • Leoni, C., Hovorka, J., Klan, M., Bendl, J., Marvanova, S. (2016). Ultrafine Particles Size Distribution, Single Aerosol Particle Morphology and Chemical Composition in Urban Air.

Annual European Aerosol Conference (EAC), Milano, Italy (2015)

Conference program is available at official EAC site

  • Hovorka, J., Pokorná, P., Hopke, P.K., Křůmal, K., Mikuška, P., Píšová, M. (2015). Wood Burning as a Main Source of Winter Aerosol in Residual District in Proximity to a Large Automobile Factory in Central Europe
  • Bendl, J., Hovorka, J., Topinka, J. (2015). Relationship Between c-PAHs Concentration and Elemental Composition of Urban Size-segregated Aerosol in Winter
  • Zíková, N., Leoni, C., Hovorka, J., Ondráček, J., Schwarz, J. (2015). Contribution of Local and Transported Atmospheric Aerosol in a European Air Pollution Hot-spot
  • Topinka, J., Líbalová, H., Milcová, A., Schmuczerová, J., Rössner Jr., P., Pavlíková, J., Bendl. J., Hovorka, J. (2015). Evaluation of Mass-dependent Toxicity of Organic Compounds Extracted from Size Segregated Urban Aerosol
  • Leoni, C., Hovorka, J. (2015). Seasonal Dynamics of Aerosol Size Distribution, Number Concentration and Gaseous Pollutants in Prague Center.
  • Kozáková, J., Hovorka, J., Schwarz, J. (2015). Urban and Suburban Intermodal Fraction of Atmospheric Aerosol
  • Schwarz, J., Ondráček, J., Ondráčková, L., Kozáková, J., Hovorka, J., Ždímal, V. (2015). Size Resolved Chemical Composition of Atmospheric Aerosol at Urban and Suburban Sites at Central European Air Polution Hot Spot

34th. AAAR Conference in Minneapolis, Minesota (2015)

Abstracts are available at official AAAR site

  • Kozáková, J., Hovorka, J., Schwarz, J. (2015). Urban and Suburban Intermodal Fraction of Atmospheric Aerosol
  • Hovorka, J., Píšová, M., Leoni, C., Kuželová, N. (2015). Variability of Size-segregated PM Mass and Submicrometer Particle Numbers during Perambulations in a Small City

33rd. AAAR Conference in Orlando, Florida (2014)

Abstracts are available at official AAAR site

  • Docekalova, V., Hovorka, J., Kobrzek, F., Marecek, P., Bendl, J. (2014). High-spatial Resolution Profiling of Aerosol Size Distribution Aloft a Highway
  • Bendl, J., Hovorka, J., Topinka, J. (2014). Relationship between PAHs and Elemental Composition of Size-segregated Aerosol
  • Klán, M., Hovorka, J., Civiš, M.: Design and Operational Optimisation of Pneumatic Sampler for Resuspension Chamber
  • Hovorka, J., Dočekalová, V., Klán, M., Kobrzek, F., Mareček, M.: Measurements of High Spatial Resolution of Ultrafine and Coarse Aerosol Particles in Industrial Plume
  • Leoni. C., Hovorka, J.: European Air Pollution Hot-Spot: Evidence of Industrial Plume over a Residential Area
  • Kozáková J., Hovorka, J., Schwarz, J.: Urban and Suburban Intermodal Fraction of Atmospheric Aerosol in Winter 2014
  • Dočekalová, V., Hovorka, J., Kobrzek, F., Mareček, P.: Vertical and Horizontal Aerosol Profiling Over Residential Areas.


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