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23 Mar 2018Assessment of Clean Air Zones

Under the UK government's July 2017 NO2 plan, 23 local authorities are required to assess options such as Clean Air Zones (CAZ) to reduce NO2 levels in their areas. Last month the High Court ruled that a further 33 local authorities will need to study proposals to improve air quality. The government has begun working with these local authorities.

Robust assessments will be necessary to deliver these projects. CERC offer our world-leading model ADMS-Urban which is designed for assessing air quality interventions such as Clean Air Zones. For instance, ADMS-Urban is being used by

  • Transport for Greater Manchester to model CAZ options
  • Glasgow City Council and SEPA to model Low Emissions Zone proposals for bus corridors in the city centre (see map).

Contact CERC now for

  • ADMS air quality software for local authorities, consultancies and other users
  • Consultancy services for the assessment of air quality interventions
  • Training from experts in the use of our software for these assessments
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13 Mar 2018SEPA assess Glasgow Low Emission Zone using ADMS-Urban

SEPA are working with Glasgow City Council in considering a Low Emission Zone for bus corridors in the city centre. They are using CERC's world-leading ADMS-Urban model, which includes street-scale to city-wide scale modelling, advanced treatments of airflow, turbulence and dispersion within the city taking account of the effect of buildings and street canyons, chemical reactions and the mixing of pollution due to traffic.

As described in evidence to the Scottish Parliament air quality committee, the ADMS-Urban output (first image) are predicted annual-mean concentrations of NO2 at points around the city, with the colour indicating whether they are above (red) or below (green) the annual-mean threshold of 40μg/m3.

The second image shows good agreement between modelled air-quality concentrations for 6 sites compared with the monitored values at these sites in 2015 using the 'congested speed' scenario. In particular the large roadside increment is well represented by the model. No model adjustment factors have been used in this project.

Two LEZ scenarios have been investigated with ADMS-Urban and CERC's EMIT emissions inventory tool: (1) assuming all buses are at EURO VI, and (2) additionally assuming diesel cars and LGVs are at Euro 6 and petrol cars and LGVs are at EURO 4 or newer. At a monitor location within the LEZ, the greatest improvement in air quality was predicted by cleaning the bus fleet, with a small additional improvement by targeting cars and LGVs. The modelling work is continuing efficiently and the Glasgow LEZ is expected to be in place by the end of 2018.


26 Feb 2018New CERC publications in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution

Two papers from CERC authors have recently been published in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution, as part of a special issue from HARMO17. The first paper (Stocker et al. 2017, doi 10.1504/IJEP.2017.10010380) concerns the review of dispersion modelling of agricultural emissions with non-point sources, using the ADMS and AERMOD models to examine dispersion of emissions from typical agricultural sources and a specific case study. This expands on work originally carried out for ADMLC. A figure comparing ADMS modelled and measured ammonia concentrations (µg/m3) is shown on the right.

The second paper (Smith et al. 2017, doi 10.1504/IJEP.2017.10010443) compares the standard approach to modelling NOx plume chemistry in ADMS to a more advanced methodology by presenting validation against data for two sites in Alaska. A novel graphical approach is used to distinguish between errors in dispersion calculations, which affect both NOx and NO2, and errors in chemistry, affecting NO2 only.

References and links to more publications by CERC authors are available here while publications from other researchers using CERC models are listed here.


19 Feb 2018Air quality benefits of climate action in cities around the world

Representatives of nine cities from around the world analysed air quality and health benefits of climate actions in their cities at a workshop organised by C40, the leading global network of cities committed to addressing climate change.

At the workshop in London, from 7th to 9th November, experts from CERC, C40, Buro Happold and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine worked with representatives from Istanbul, Medellin, Quezon City, Quito, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Hanoi, Athens and Karachi. The city representatives brought details of specific climate actions to which their city is committed, including tightening vehicle emissions standards, new public transport schemes, building solar energy generation plants and reducing industrial emissions. During the event CERC's Mark Jackson and Matt Williams provided expert guidance on air quality benefits of the actions. All nine cities were able to produce numerical estimates of benefits from their actions, including air quality concentration improvements and consequent improvements in life expectancy for the city populations, and the benefits of scaling up their actions to more ambitious targets.


12 Feb 2018ADMS NOx chemistry scheme implemented in AERMOD

A journal article by CERC authors describes the implementation of a NOx chemistry scheme in AERMOD which uses similar reactions and an analogous calculation method to the ADMS GRS chemistry. The new chemistry scheme, ADMSM, shows good performance when compared to measurements from five validation studies. The NO2 predicted by ADMSM has increased consistency with modelled NOx compared to the OLM or PVMRM approaches in AERMOD. The figure shows a comparison of predicted average hourly NO2 to NOx ratios against the observed value for cases where observed NOx ≥ 20 µg/m3; studies presented according to source-receptor distance (closest on left). The code development work carried out by CERC was funded by the American Petroleum Institute.

This work is cited in the recent US EPAWhite Paper on Planned Updates to AERMOD Modeling System”, and will be further evaluated as an alternative model for Tier 3 NO2 modelling in AERMOD.

References and links to more publications by CERC authors are available here while publications from other researchers using CERC models are listed here.

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