SFB 419
Environmental problems of industrial population centres","")?> SFB 419")?>

Subproject B3

Analysing the origins, transport and transformation of air pollution -
investigating reduction strategies through simulation

Within the scope of the special research area (SFB) 419, "Environmental problems of industrial population centres; scientific solution strategies and socio-economic implications" the Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology (IGM) togetgher with the Centre for Applied Informatics (ZAIK), working group Faigle/Schrader, - both at Cologne University - will investigate the propagation and transformation of air pollutants with regard to climatological aspects. Beside emission registers of domestic and industrial heating dynamical simulations of regional and supraregional street traffic will be the basis of this work.

Even though there will be a reduction of vehicle emissions by technology one should expect an increased impact on the environment by traffic in consequence of the forecasted rise of traffic load. At the same time emission reduction strategies in industry will lead to a change in the emission of air pollutants. To estimate the effects of reduction strategies in traffic (speed limits, fuel costs, roadpricing or the like) and industry (new technologies of energy transformation) different scenarios of harmful pollution will be carried out by investigation of the causal chain origin/emission - transmission - immission. Within this scope also regional effects of global climate change signals will be taken into account.

Although for many emittors (power stations, industry) only small temporal variations show up, for road traffic a high temporal resolution is needed because in order to calculate the emitted pollutants it is not the mean traffic load which is crucial but its temporal development and the dynamics of the vehicles (rush hour, development of congestion). Classical simulations of the spreading of air pollution are based on emission registers, e.g. sources of air pollutants are modelled by their static mean value. By using a microscopic simulation to model the emission source "street traffic" it is for the first time possible to estimate the ecological effects of changing socio-economic conditions in their planning stage. In order to describe satisfactorily the dynamic chemical conversion processes in the atmosphere a temporal high resolution is also necessary. Within the framework of this project, therefore, special emphasis will be placed on recording road traffic emissions correctly, as well as domestic heating and industry.

A lot of the emitted pollutants are unstable and are transformed by chemical reactions in the atmosphere. The simulation of the effects of these transformations on the resulting concentration fields can only be performed by combining models describing atmosphere dynamics and air chemistry.

The ZAIK and IGM at Cologne University cooperated within the "NRW - Research Cooperative for Traffic Simulation and Impacts on the Environment" (FVU) whose target was the development of an instrument usable within the scope of traffic management and traffic planning. The simulation models PLANSIM-T / FASTLANE and the model chain EURAD / WITRAK are results of this cooperation. To use this model chain with regard to climatological questions extensive simplifications, parametrizations and investigations of sensitivity will be necessary. The resulting adapted model chain will first be validated by simulation of episodes. In a second step it will then be possible to gain climatological statements concerning the impact of changed emission distributions on the environment. To get the corresponding climatologies of pollutants air compounds as NOx, CO or hydrocarbons are treated as inert pollutants. In a next step impacts of the chemical transformation processes on immission will be investigated.

Within a combined consideration of the impacts of traffic, meteorology and air chemical processes on the pollution of the atmosphere it is possible to offer scientific valuation categories. These could lead to recommendations of promising possibilities for an improvement of air quality.


Composition of interesting links on SFB 419:

Official homepage of SFB 419

Contact:")?> traffic@zpr.uni-koeln.de