Xavier Querol and Cristina de Vasconcelos returned to the Ajuntament de Barcelona to present conclusions and recommendations from the project, so far.
Once the pollution sources were identified and their relative contributions were obtained, the strategic goal of the AIRUSE became to develop, test and propose cost-effective air mitigation measures in Southern Europe, targeted to meet air quality standards and to approach, as much as possible, the WHO guidelines.
The specific PM mitigation measures experimentally tested were:
- For road dust and African dust – street washing and dust suppressants
- For biomass burning – the use of different biofuels, combustion technologies, and secondary technologies, such as catalyst converters and filters in biomass burning systems.
Furthermore the following air quality measures have been reviewed:
- For industrial emissions – the Best Available Techniques for channelled and fugitive emissions.
- For road traffic – mitigation strategies applied in other European countries, such as: LEZ (Low Emission Zones); limitations to the growth of diesel cars; incorporation of electric, hybrid and gas vehicles; and the selection of procedures for eco-efficient vehicles labeling.
Mail conclusion at this point would be:
- Traffic (vehicle exhaust emission and road dust resuspension) is the main source of particles in the air. PM exceedances are the result of both traffic and African dust intrusions.
- Systematic street cleaning is efficient in reducing resuspension of deposited dust (traffic and African dust).
- Dust suppressants (CMA CLA) did not prove to be efficient in reducing PM levels in urban sites.
- Traditional residential combustion appliances should be replaced by certified equipment and the market of firewood sales should be regulated.
- LEZs need to be stringent and include cars to be effective.
- Promoting cleaner vehicle technologies requires long term consistent policies
- Influencing motorists away from diesel is unlikely until fiscal incentives change
- Public information on air quality implications of fuel choice is required.
The complete reports and presentations are available here
The present phase of the project focus on the dissemination of the project results, especially to the stakeholders involved during the development of the project, and meetings in each country are now being scheduled.