Simulations to reduce emissions from road transport

Mar 24, 2014

Researchers at the UPM are developing a methodology to estimate atmospheric emissions from road transport that will help to make environmental decisions.

The research result conducted by the School of Engineering of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) is a model system that allows the simulation of future cases of greenhouse gas and air pollutants from vehicles. This proved how difficult is to implement measures that could help simultaneously reduce both types of emissions.

The emission problems of and air pollutants are the big challenges of today. Its contribution to climate change and the low urban air quality are the main reasons why road transport increase is currently being limited.

Researchers of the Environmental Technology and Industry Resources group have developed a methodology that can calculate the emissions of an area transport fleet, taking into account vehicle types and environmental laws of that area.

Therefore, this simulation model can assess the impact of policies and measures such as support systems for vehicle renewal, speed reduction, market penetration of less powerful engines, vehicles fuel change, the city circulation restriction policy and the biofuel usage awareness.

This model system was successfully conducted in Spain by calculating emission projections until 2020 in diverse situations. The conducted tests show that reducing the greenhouse emissions requires mostly non-technological measures (mobility restriction). However, the renewal of the vehicles fleet with systems of advanced emission reduction is the most efficient option to reduce emissions of air pollutants (mainly nitrogen oxides and particulate matter).

Researchers also conducted a sensitivity analysis to identify the most influential variables in future emissions. The obtained values show that the link among petrol and diesel cars and the vehicles age are decisive variants for . On the other hand, speed on highways and the vehicle engine type are the most influential factors that contribute to CO2 emissions.

This research shows the difficulty to implement measures to reduce simultaneously both and on road transport. This research suggests studying the side effects of these measures before putting them into practice.

Explore further: Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off

More information: LUMBRERAS, J; BORGE, R; GUIJARRO, A; LÓPEZ, JM; RODRÍGUEZ, ME. "A methodology to compute emission projections from road transport (EmiTRANS)". Technological Forescasting and Social Change 81: 165-176. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.02.011. Enero 2014.

Related Stories

Africa's pollution in the spotlight

Mar 14, 2014

Human activity in Africa significantly contributes to air pollution. However, no detailed data regarding country-by-country pollutant emissions in the continent was available until now.

Remote traffic pollution detection system created

Sep 16, 2013

A group of research centers and companies in which the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid participates has created the first infrared and remote system able to detect pollutants from cars on highways up to ...

Biodiesel can cut greenhouse gas emissions

Jul 19, 2012

Researchers in Spain have discovered that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced through the use of biodiesel. The group from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Spain investigated the benefits ...

Obama calls for new truck fuel standards

Feb 18, 2014

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered officials to start setting new fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy trucks, wielding his executive power in the fight against climate change.

Recommended for you

Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off

6 hours ago

The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

May 23, 2015

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.