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15 Jun 20232023 ADMS User Group Meetings: 29-30 November 2023, York

The 2023 ADMS User Group Meetings will be held at Malmaison Hotel, York, on the following dates:

  • ADMS 6, Wednesday 29th November
  • ADMS-Urban and ADMS-Roads, Thursday 30th November

The annual ADMS User Group Meetings are a great opportunity to hear the latest ADMS model news and advice from CERC consultants and model developers, to hear talks by model users about their own applications of the software, and to network with other model users. Tickets will be available to book through Eventbrite later this summer.


5 Jun 2023CERC awarded DfT aviation air quality modelling contract for ICAO CAEP

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded CERC a two year contract to carry out local air quality modelling of aviation emissions for the International Civil Aviation Organization Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (ICAO CAEP).

The CAEP is a technical committee of the ICAO Council, which assists the Council in formulating new standards and recommended practices relating to the environmental impact of aviation.

One of ICAO's environmental goals is to limit or reduce the impact of aviation emissions on Local Air Quality. Since the late 1970s, ICAO has been developing measures to address emissions from aircraft engines and other airport sources in the vicinity of an airport.

To inform its assessment of the impacts of international aviation emissions, CAEP uses computer-based modelling and databases sponsored by Member States and international organisations participating in CAEP.

CERC's work under this contract will be under the auspices of the CAEP Modelling and Databases Group (MDG). Our work will include modelling test cases of the local air quality impacts of aircraft emissions for a range of airports. We will also investigate ways in which the modelling process might be streamlined and improved.

CERC's model ADMS-Airport will be used for this project. ADMS-Airport is one of the approved models for the ICAO CAEP MDG; it is listed in the ICAO Airport Air Quality Manual as a typical model used in the advanced and sophisticated approaches. Following the use of the model in DfT's Project for Sustainable Development of Heathrow (PSDH)—Adding Capacity at Heathrow, DfT's expert panel on modelling was in "full agreement in the recommendation of the CERC model ADMS-Airport for future modelling work at Heathrow".

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29 Mar 2023ADMS 6 & ADMS-Screen 6 released

CERC are delighted to announce that version 6 of ADMS and ADMS-Screen is now available for download from the user area. Existing licence holders will be receiving an email with their new licence shortly.

ADMS is an advanced dispersion model used to model the air quality impact of existing and proposed industrial installations. Its many features include allowance for the impacts of buildings, complex terrain, coastlines and variations in surface roughness; dry and wet deposition; NOx chemistry schemes; short term releases (puffs); calculation of fluctuations of concentration on short timescales, odours; condensed plume visibility; and allowance for radioactive decay including γ-ray dose.

Some of the new features in version 6 of ADMS include

  • Buildings: enhancements to the modelling of buildings, including the ability to automatically determine a main building. Easier plotting of the effective building and changes to the way the effect of buildings are modelled, particularly for upwind sources.
  • Source apportionment: the new 'output per source' option will write the output contribution from each source to each receptor in a new set of output files. The data in these files can be visualised in the Mapper by colour-coding the sources by what degree each source contributes to the concentration at the selected receptor for a selected met. line.
  • Time-varying emissions: the ability to specify profiles on a per source per pollutant basis, along with improvements to the entering of time varying emissions factors on screen.
  • New tools: 'Layer statistics' to find and display the minimum, maximum and X, Y location for each numerical field in a layer. ‘Clip layer to polygons’ allows individual features from one layer to be ‘clipped’ to polygon(s) or polyline(s) from a separate layer. Easily create receptor point (.asp) files containing several different sets of 3D gridded output points, in polar, Cartesian or rotated Cartesian form. Open ADMS-Urban and ADMS-Roads model files (.upl files) directly in ADMS.
  • Much more: Please view all the updates in detail in the What's New? guide.

For further information on this release or any CERC products please email us.


8 Mar 2023New research projects for improved regulatory modelling

Organisations which protect air quality need rapid and robust ways to assess the pollution impacts of industrial activities. The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA) commission research to improve regulatory modelling techniques. CERC are working on several research projects for both organisations as part of Defra’s Research Development & Evidence Framework Agreement, in collaboration with Air Quality Consultants (AQC).

It is important to quantify landfill emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, but difficult to make accurate and representative emissions measurements. CERC are exploring inverse modelling methods for estimating landfill methane emissions from concentration measurements in two linked projects for the EA. These aim to better understand variations in methane releases and to recommend methods for combining measurements with modelling, to improve ongoing assessments of landfill emissions.

CERC and AQC are collaborating on an EA funded study of established and developing air quality assessment methods which use modelling, monitoring and integrated techniques. The aim is to identify aspects of air quality assessment where new research would be valuable. This includes defining preparatory work for new approaches and providing a strategy for future research funding. The project team investigated the opinions of key experts in the field through recent workshops and individual interviews.

Carbon capture and storage technologies are being developed to reduce the climate change impacts of combustion processes. Amine chemicals used to remove carbon dioxide from exhaust gases can be released to the atmosphere in small quantities, potentially creating harmful products (nitramines and nitrosamines) through chemical reactions. CERC previously developed ADMS to model amine chemistry. For ADMS 6 this module has been extended to model multiple types of amine and associated products simultaneously. With support from Defra, CERC are investigating sensitivities of the ADMS amine modelling and developing a tool to calculate the chemical properties for a wide range of amines.

Air pollution screening methods use simple estimates of impacts to assess whether more detailed modelling is needed. CERC have a leading technical role in an EA funded project to improve screening techniques for small industrial sources. These sources have release heights up to 20 m above ground and are often affected by nearby buildings. CERC are also reviewers in a project for the EA assessing air quality impacts from intermittent generator testing activity.

We look forward to sharing project outcomes with the air quality modelling community.

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18 Jan 2023Recent CERC research publications

Alongside core activities of developing air quality modelling software and providing environmental consultancy services, CERC take an active role in UK and international scientific research activities. 2022 was a busy year for CERC's research team, with ten published co-author journal articles.

New software development and evaluation was covered in two papers. The improved elevated roads modelling implemented in ADMS-Urban and ADMS-Roads, commissioned by Highways England (now National Highways), was discussed and evaluated by O'Neill et al., upper image. Seaton et al. described the simplified near-road dispersion model based on ADMS-Urban developed within the SPF Clean Air Programme Multi-Model Air Quality System for Health Research (MAQS-Health) project, managed by the UK Met Office.

CERC were co-authors in two publications related to the NERC-funded West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme (WM-Air) project, led by the University of Birmingham. Regional modelling of fine particulates including regional and national emissions scenarios was described in Mazzeo et al. Coupled regional-to-local modelling using the ADMS-Urban Regional Model Link system to generate street-scale concentrations was covered in Zhong et al., with annual average NO2 concentrations shown in the lower image.

CERC's work in developing a system to predict adverse meteorological conditions at Hong Kong International Airport was reported in two papers in the Atmosphere journal. These latest results, from a productive collaboration with Hong Kong Observatory that began in 2010, describe the development and evaluation of a wind shear forecasting system.

CERC also contributed to a study of emissions in Beijing, using modelling of perturbed ensembles (Yuan et al.), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge and Tsinghua University Beijing. Work with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) studied the consequences of reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and/or volatile organic compounds (VOC) in Guangzhou (China) and surrounding areas using regional-to-local modelling, reported in Zhang et al. Other activities included evaluation of uncertainty in urban air quality sensor measurements (Peters et al.) and consideration of standardised source terms for dispersion and transmission modelling of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Stettler et al.).

Further information about CERC research is available from our earlier co-author publications and presentations. Publications from other groups using our modelling software are also available.

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