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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Jan 1;466-467:809-19. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.07.093. Epub 2013 Aug 25.

Emission inventories and modeling requirements for the development of air quality plans. Application to Madrid (Spain).

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Environmental Modelling Laboratory, Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Madrid (UPM), c/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:


Modeling is an essential tool for the development of atmospheric emission abatement measures and air quality plans. Most often these plans are related to urban environments with high emission density and population exposure. However, air quality modeling in urban areas is a rather challenging task. As environmental standards become more stringent (e.g. European Directive 2008/50/EC), more reliable and sophisticated modeling tools are needed to simulate measures and plans that may effectively tackle air quality exceedances, common in large urban areas across Europe, particularly for NO₂. This also implies that emission inventories must satisfy a number of conditions such as consistency across the spatial scales involved in the analysis, consistency with the emission inventories used for regulatory purposes and versatility to match the requirements of different air quality and emission projection models. This study reports the modeling activities carried out in Madrid (Spain) highlighting the atmospheric emission inventory development and preparation as an illustrative example of the combination of models and data needed to develop a consistent air quality plan at urban level. These included a series of source apportionment studies to define contributions from the international, national, regional and local sources in order to understand to what extent local authorities can enforce meaningful abatement measures. Moreover, source apportionment studies were conducted in order to define contributions from different sectors and to understand the maximum feasible air quality improvement that can be achieved by reducing emissions from those sectors, thus targeting emission reduction policies to the most relevant activities. Finally, an emission scenario reflecting the effect of such policies was developed and the associated air quality was modeled.


Emission inventory; Madrid; Modeling; NO(2); SMOKE; Urban air quality

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