Spanish city trials pioneering traffic pollution management

The city of Salamanca, Spain, is trialling an automated traffic management system which aims to cut down on pollution without causing traffic congestion for commuters.

The project which began in October 2011, will see a network of air-quality sensors put up throughout the city, capable of capturing pollution data in real time over a wide geographical area. Each sensor is built to measure concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter as well as noise, temperature and humidity.

The project will enable traffic and pollution data to be collected in a cost-effective way

Traffic and pollution data gathered by the air-quality sensors will then be fed into a pollution prediction model, which can then be used to forecast pollution trends and adjust traffic control measures accordingly. This model is intended to cut down on episodes of high pollution from traffic while disturbing the flow of traffic as little as possible.

The project is being overseen by the Pervasive Air-quality Sensors Network for an Environmental Friendly Urban Traffic Management (RESCATAME) an EU body whose main objective is to oversee the sustainable management of traffic and air quality in urban areas.


A network of air-quality sensors has been set up around the city

The project will enable traffic and pollution data to be collected in a cost-effective way with the aim of producing pollution predictions in real time, calculating the effects of various traffic regulation scenarios and comparing their impact at pollution “hotspots”.

Because the system works in real time, it is thought that more reliable traffic-control measures can be generated when pollution conditions quickly change, as traffic can be directed away from pollution hotspots through coordination of traffic signalling and improved traveller information systems.

It is thought that road traffic is responsible for 25% of all emissions throughout Europe, totalling around 31% of emissions in Spain alone. The European Union has tightened legislation to reduce car emissions by 20% by 2020.

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Defra launches consultation on industrial emissions Directive

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a consultation on the transposition of the industrial emissions directive in England and Wales.

The Directive requires a wide range of industrial activities to be regulated so as to protect the environment from possible harm from their emissions. The consultation is seeking views on how the requirements of the directive can be successfully transposed into UK law.

The consultation began yesterday (March 12) and will run until June 6 2012.
The main thrust of the directive is to increase the use of “best available techniques” (BATs), an obligation to ensure that industrial operators use the most cost-effective techniques to achieve a high level of environmental protection.

Energy from waste plants are covered in the proposed revisions to legislation

There are seven overlapping directives covering similar activities, which the directive attempts to ‘mould’ into a single piece of legislation, namely: those on integrated pollution prevention and control, large combustion plants, waste incineration, activities using organic solvents and three on titanium dioxide production.

The directive tightens minimum emission limits in certain industrial sectors across the EU – particularly for large combustion plants where progress to reduce pollution is insufficient. It introduces minimum standards for environmental inspections of industrial installations and allows for more effective permit reviews.


It also extends the scope of legislation to cover other polluting activities, such as medium sized combustion plants, thus ensuring that all EU member states receive the same high level of environmental protection.

Environmental Permitting Regulations currently also apply directive requirements to some activities which are not specified in the industrial emissions directive, and Defra will be seeking views on whether that should continue.

The Directive came into force on January 6 2011, and EU member states have until January 7 2012 to transpose the requirements into national law.

Related Links
Defra consultation

Need for speed

Well, need for speed is probably the worst thing in terms of motor vehicles and emissions but in terms of this site we are keen to see it develop fast. As I write in mid-March 2012 we believe that there is room for a new website to bring forward news and information about air quality issues. We don’t seek to push anyone aside who is already in the sector. We would like to add to discussion and help deliver information, complementing the good work that is already being done.

It is clear however, that air quality is a massive issue and will develop in the future as there is a more awareness of the need for clean air and more pressures across the globe which will threaten air quality. Accordingly, we believe this represents an important step within UK media in bringing some of these stories to the fore and helping promote communication among all those in particular with a professional interest in air quality.

We aim to get this site up and running as speedily as possible. We already produce and on past experience it will take a month or two or even more to fully deliver to you in the air quality sector. We of course welcome your feedback, thoughts and new ideas.

Steve Eminton



Enviro Technology Services plc
AS Technical Solutions Limited


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ESU1 Ltd

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Enviro Technology Services plc (ET)

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The UK-based company sell and lease equipment, systems and services covering the monitoring of ambient air quality (AQM), continuous emissions (CEM) and indoor air quality. ET also supplies cutting-edge analytical equipment for scientific, process and research monitoring including the monitoring of greenhouse and toxic gases.

The company has the UK’s largest network of field-based service engineers in the industry. The team service air monitoring equipment on some 500 sites across the UK and Ireland, as well as work on global installation projects.  A diverse client base ranges from UK and overseas government departments and local authorities, to research institutes and blue chip industry.

ET’s headquarters are in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The company operates out of a custom-designed 1700m2 factory featuring fully air-conditioned calibration and repair laboratories, in-house system manufacturing and dedicated testing and training facilities.

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Here at AS Technical Solutions, we are a leading provider of emission monitoring equipment, flue gas analysis equipment, calibration and site services. We work closely alongside market leading manufacturers including Apex Instrument Inc, rbr Messtechnik, JCT and Monitoring Systems GmbH. We also host an excellent service department.

We have years of experience and offer a high level of technical support and servicing to our customers. Since our incorporation in 2008, we have become one of the leading suppliers for emission monitoring equipment and sample conditioning systems across the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

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CO2 emissions down but other GHGs rise

The UK’s carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint has continued to fall since 2005 according to new data released by Defra for 1990-2009.

But, the figures from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and issued on March 8 2012, suggest that over 1990-2009 levels of other greenhouse gases rose by 12%.

The data, produced by the University of Leeds for Defra, shows that between 2008 and 2009, the UK’s carbon dioxide footprint fell by 9 per cent.

Defra said the fall “follows a steady rise of 35 per cent between 1995 and 2005, leaving the footprint in 2009 some 20 per cent higher than it was in 1990. Over the whole period, carbon dioxide emissions relating to imports doubled and emissions relating to the consumption of goods and services produced in the UK decreased by 10 per cent.”

The carbon footprints reported relate primarily to carbon dioxide emissions and the Department explained that the separate estimates of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should be seen as “experimental”. And, the footprint relates to private motoring by UK residents and from the spending on goods and services produced in the UK and overseas – meaning wherever the emissions actually arise.

Since 1990 the UK economy has moved away from manufacturing to being more of a services sector so more goods and services are made overseas.

CO2 emissions associated with UK consumption 1900 to 2009. Blue shows CO2 from UK goods and services generated by households; grey shows CO2 embedded in imported goods and services.

And reflecting the importance of data relating to overseas production, a statement from Defra accompanying the data warned: “Inherently the emissions relating to overseas production of imports to the UK are not as easily measured as emissions generated within the UK borders. There are general conventions on how to do this, using shares of production based on financial data, but the results cannot be viewed as being as robust as the estimates of carbon emissions generated domestically.”

The chart shows the trends in CO2 emissions associated with imported goods and services represented about 27 per cent of the CO2 footprint in 1990 but this figure has now risen significantly to 45%.

The Department also reported that there has been a 10 per cent fall from 2008-2009 due mainly to a reduction in emissions from power stations as a result of less demand and also in part due to an increase in the use of nuclear power. There was also a reduction in heavy goods vehicles emission and a “noticeable fall in emissions form construction activity”.

The absolute amount of emssions generated directly by households has, said Defra, remained “relatively constant” at 139 million tonnes (mt) of CO2in 1990 and 140 mt in 2009. In this category emissions from heating decreased while emissions from private motoring increased.

Related links
CO2 and emissions data

Fleet trial finds 50% fuel saving using biomethane

An estimated 50 per cent saving has been achieved using a biomethane powered fleet vehicle compared to traditional diesel.

The results come after research by the UK’s Centre of Excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies which has announced the results of a year long trial with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), whereby a fleet vehicle was powered with biomethane to assess the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel costs.

The Centre – known as CENEX – is based at Loughborough University. A spokesman said: “Following a successful trial, CCE has invested in a fleet of 14 gas powered Iveco Stralis vehicles and a gas station which is due to be fully operational at the Enfield depot from June 2012.”

Coca Cola gas fuelled vehicle

A year-long study has identified considerable savings in powering vehicles with a 'recovered' gas fuel which helps reduce emissions









The spokesman added: “Driven by a desire to produce a step change reduction in fleet carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, CCE contracted Cenex to evaluate and compare the emissions, fuel consumption, economics, reliability and operability of a 26 tonne Iveco Stralis gas vehicle with that of a diesel Stralis vehicle.”

The gas vehicle is estimated to have achieved a 50.3 per cent saving in well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions, compared to the diesel Stralis vehicle. However, this was achieved using a temporary filling station – a more efficient permanent station being installed at the CCE depot is expected to raise the GHG saving to 60.7 per cent. Additionally, operating the gas vehicle on biomethane reduced the fuel costs by 12.8 per cent, the researchers said.

Better performance
Chris Walsh, head of technical support and consultancy at Cenex, said: “The success of this trial shows gas vehicles provide similar if not better, drive performance and reliability levels than incumbent diesel technologies, while significantly reducing CO2 emissions. By releasing the report findings we hope to eliminate the need for repeated technology comparisons within fleets, thereby reducing the time required to deploy gas commercial vehicles throughout the UK. The report therefore gives fleet managers and decision makers the confidence to deploy gas vehicles in their own fleet operations.”

The trial vehicles – one operating solely on biomethane gas, and one diesel powered – were highly comparable. Both were new registrations at trial commencement and met Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle emission standards. A temporary gas vehicle refuelling infrastructure was installed at the CCE depot in Enfield, UK, where the trial vehicles were operated from. Vehicle activity data from the Enfield depot was logged via onboard telemetry and a drive cycle in an emissions testing facility was produced allowing air quality performances as well as CO2 and fuel consumption to be measured in a controlled environment.

The rising price of diesel, corporate sustainability interests and UK Government incentives, are seen by those involved in the project as “creating a growing interest in using biomethane as a transport fuel throughout the UK as it is a renewable transport fuel with a similar energy content and chemical composition to natural gas.” The gas is also fully exchangeable with natural gas when used in an engine.

The new CCE gas fleet will consume approximately 168 tonnes of biomethane saving over 300 tonnes of CO2, 1590 kgs of NOx and 33 kgs PM of emissions per annum. Additionally, CCE trialled an LPG fork lift truck converted to operate on biomethane at Enfield, which achieved a 71 per cent well-to-wheel CO2 saving.

Lowest carbon intensity
Darren O’Donnell, Logistics Asset Manager at CCE, explained: “Our primary reason for selecting compressed biomethane is that it has the lowest carbon intensity of all commercially available alternative fuels, allowing us to benefit from the best possible well- to-wheel saving.  Gaining independent trial support and results verification by Cenex has helped give us the confidence needed to make step changes in emissions performance through switching vehicle technology and fuels.”

Biomethane supplier Gasrec’s commercial development manager Doug Leaf said: “Gasrec has been delighted to partner with Coca-Cola, Iveco and Cenex during this project. The results clearly show that biomethane is the only truly sustainable and readily available fuel which can reduce commercial transport carbon emissions and improve air quality.  The key to widespread deployment of environmentally friendly vehicles is to make sure that the end user receives the benefit in ‘Cash & Carbon’. We are already seeing a number of major UK based organisations as well as Coca-Cola benefitting from the use of biomethane and future adoption is now a certainty.”

Related links
Biomethane trial report