Towards the 2013 Revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directive – Issues and Solutions
Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th December 2011
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA
During the ten years since the European Air Quality Directives were introduced pollution concentrations have not decreased as fast as expected, member states are therefore experiencing difficulties with attainment of Limit and Target Values for NO2, O3 and PM10. It is clear that large gaps remain in our understanding of emissions sources and their linkage to ambient concentrations. Meanwhile evidence of the health burden of air pollution continues to grow and increased emphasis on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions provides opportunities for co-benefits between climate change mitigation measures and air pollution abatement. The conference addressed some of these scientific questions in a programme consisting of four sessions including an AirMonTech Project Update, AirMonTech is an EU project compiling information to harmonize current air pollution monitoring techniques and to advise on future monitoring technologies and strategy.
The conference was attended by over 110 scientists from many countries and seven exhibitors showing a range of monitoring devices, sensors and instrumentation for pollution monitoring.
The first session, Some European Perspectives, examined air quality across Europe, progress towards attaining the Limit Values and outstanding issues and harmonisation of air quality monitoring in Europe. These were illustrated by presentations on meeting EU limit values in the UK, past, present and future of metals and PAH monitoring, also in the UK, and trends in NO2 and PM10 in the Netherlands. A subsequent session, Current and Future Air Pollution Monitoring – AirMonTech Project Update, covered the European Commission’s expectations from the AirMonTech project and outlined the core information needed to understand the present air pollution levels in Europe. Further presentations in this session examined the existing measurement technologies and the newer up and coming monitoring methods, instrumentation and proxies. The structure, functions and scope of the AirMonTech database were also explained. Baseline and Low Emission Zone modelling were also discussed to illustrate development of UK Air Quality plans for NO2 compliance.
The session, Carbon Content of Particulate Matter, included presentations discussing inter-comparisons of carbonaceous aerosol source apportionment models at various urban sites and reduction of Black Carbon and CO2 in these environments. Measurement procedures for carbonaceous aerosols in the Po Valley, Italy and Black, Elemental and Organic Carbon in Flanders served to illustrate the issues discussed earlier. Presentations followed on the use of optical detection and thermal-optical methods for the discrimination between biomass and fossil fuel combustion products and the assessment of organic and elemental carbon in ambient air.
A further session, NO2, Sensors and Climate Change, considered recent data and trends for NOx and NO2 from road vehicles. Procedures for ambient NO2 measurement, and low-cost sensor networks for urban air quality measurements, were also discussed. A final paper presented an interesting presentation on air quality and climate change.
Presentations are available to view/download below.