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Sci Total Environ. 1999 Sep 1;235(1-3):101-9.

Actual car fleet emissions estimated from urban air quality measurements and street pollution models.

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  • 1National Environmental Research Institute, Roskilde, Denmark.


A method to determine emissions from the actual car fleet under realistic driving conditions has been developed. The method is based on air quality measurements, traffic counts and inverse application of street air quality models. Many pollutants are of importance for assessing the adverse impact of the air pollution, e.g. NO2, CO, lead, VOCs and particulate matter. Aromatic VOCs are of special great concern due to their adverse health effects. Measurements of benzene, toluene and xylenes were carried out in central Copenhagen since 1994. Significant correlation was observed between VOCs and CO concentrations, indicating that the petrol engine vehicles are the major sources of VOC air pollution in central Copenhagen. Hourly mean concentrations of benezene were observed to reach values of up to 20 ppb, what is critically high according to the WHOs recommendations. Based on inverse model calculation of dispersion of pollutants in street canyons, an average emission factor of benzene for the fleet of petrol fuelled vehicles was estimated to be 0.38 g/km in 1994 and 0.11 in 1997. This decrease was caused by the reduction of benzene content in Danish petrol since summer 1995 and increasing percentage of cars equipped with three-way catalysts. The emission factors for benzene for diesel-fuelled vehicles were low.

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