Air Pollution Science Highlights
Measuring real-world emissions from road vehicles.
Road transport is a major source of pollution in city centres. Estimates of pollution emissions are derived from laboratory tests that attempt to simulate driving conditions. However, it has been shown that emissions from test cycles are not representative of what is seen in real world tests on UK roads.
The National Centre for Atmospheric Science is developing methods to estimate the real world emissions from road vehicles more accurately.
Studies have ranged from running a car engine connected to the NCAS supported Manchester Aerosol Chamber, to using instruments at roadside to measure exhaust emissions from passing vehicles. The chamber experiments allows us to look at both the conditions that produce the most emissions, and how the pollutants interact with other chemicals in the air. At the roadside, we have the opportunity to collect information about a much larger sample of the UK fleet and compare performances of different vehicles and technologies.
Collecting more detailed information on pollution emissions will provide the UK with a more complete picture of what is being emitted from vehicles in our cities, and how that may change in the future. This will help us understand how the atmosphere will react to future changes in transport, and inform the development of new and effective policies.