Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Assessing the effects of vehicle emission reduction

Gaseous emissions from motor vehicles such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and unburned or partially burned hydrocarbons (CH) have significant detrimental effects on air quality especially in urban areas. Studies have linked poor air quality with a rise in respiratory diseases and other health problems. A number of approaches are being used to curb vehicle emissions, primarily by reducing vehicle usage and by the introduction of improved engines. To assess the effect of these emission reduction measures, it is necessary to have base-line measurements of real-world vehicle emissions, that are from in-service vehicles under normal operation.

The Reveal project produced measurement protocols, comparative studies of different instruments, and validated emissions data. European studies of emissions measurements linked to parameters such as vehicle type, age and driving condition were undertaken and are available for the use of both policy makers and researchers. The prospects for remote sensing instruments providing public information were also been investigated, with the aim of reinforcing individual motorist responsibility for their vehicle emissions.

The Reveal project's key results included:
- The field trial results indicated the promising potential of the method. It was possible to conclude that Reveal is suitable to monitor overall 'car fleet emissions'.
- The results showed that Reveal is especially relevant for monitoring the impact of (urban) traffic management on emissions and also to identify “gross polluters”.
- Reveal can rank vehicles in order of increasing emissions.
- The present Reveal prototypes were more suitable for gasoline- than for diesel- fuelled vehicles, because of the high resolving power of the CO measurement and of the poor resolution for smoke emissions.
- The application of Reveal in public off-road locations such as petrol station forecourts is technically feasible and gives valuable qualitative results.

Much further development and product engineering work can be undertaken, not only by the Reveal partners but also by other commercial developers and suppliers of RSD technology. In this context the collected data both from field trials already undertaken and from future trials will continue to be analysed to improve the instrument and product(s).

The project partners are currently in the process of commercialising Reveal product; further information can be obtained through Golden River Traffic Ltd, Bicester, UK - a supplier of roadside equipment installed worldwide.

Reported by

Sira Ltd.
United Kingdom
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