EMPIR project on vehicle exhaust features in environmental journal article

Smoke Emission From Powerful SUV Car With Exhaust Pipe
Car exhaust

Harmonising vehicle emission tests to meet current and future legislation

The project

European legislation sets limits on Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and fine particle number emitted from vehicle exhausts, which are a leading cause of air pollution. On-road tests are performed using portable emission system (PEMS) instruments which allow real-world testing but lack full performance and metrological characterisation. There is therefore a need for calibration standards and guidelines that are currently not available.

EMPIR project Improved vehicle exhaust quantification by portable emission measurement systems metrology (19ENV09, MetroPEMS) is working to develop new standards and calibration procedures for the three key components of a portable emission system. These are: determination of NOx concentrations, number of particulates and exhaust mass flow. Based on these new measurements an improved PEMS instrument will be developed and validated along with traceable methods to extend performance for NO2 concentrations. The work is expected to support the comparability of air quality measures across the EU and help manufacturers conform to current and future legislation.

Magazine article ‘How fresh is your air’

The work of this project, as well as that of the earlier EMPIR project Metrology for nitrogen dioxide (16ENV05, MetNO2) features in an article in Air Water Environment (AWE) international online magazine.

Entitled How fresh is your air?  and written by MetNO2 project coordinator and MetroPEMS Work Package 1 leader David Worton from NPL, the article begins with the following introduction:

Air pollution is not a new problem, but it has changed dramatically over the last century. Modern air pollution is now far less visually dramatic than the ‘great smog’ episodes of the 1950s, but it is no less dangerous to human health. Given the amount and frequency with which humans consume air, access to clean air to breathe is of critical importance for health. Yet, the World Health Organisation reports that more than four million deaths every year are a direct result of exposure to polluted air. One of the most important of these air pollutants is nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The main body of the article falls under the following headings:

  • Understanding nitrogen dioxide
  • Air pollution in cities
  • The importance of air monitoring
  • Measuring nitrogen dioxide
  • Producing gas reference materials
  • Research and innovation

The section on Research and Innovation gives details of the two EMPIR projects and how they are focussed on addressing these issues.

Project Coordinator Jorge Saturno from PTB said

‘One of the key aspects of this project is that it brings together PEMS end-users and metrology experts in a joint effort to provide application-oriented calibration procedures that will significantly improve the quality of NO2, particle number and exhaust flow measurements in real-drive emission tests’.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States

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