Our Senior Air Quality Consultant, James Browne, summaries the latest Air Quality news this month. Including the ULEZ 6-month report, building cladding made of algae, new pollution removal technology, and Brighton to get 200 new EV chargepoints.
The Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone report has been released and provides a number of key findings which includes a 29% reduction in roadside N02 emissions compared to pre-ULEZ levels, and a reduction of 3-9% in traffic flows within ULEZ.
Areas that lack clarity are around the impacts of PM2.5. Because PM2.5 is a ‘transboundary pollutant’, there is less control over the source, non-combustion sources such as brake and tyre wear will continue despite EV uptake. There is also a lack of monitoring within ULEZ which makes it difficult to track changes due to the scheme. You can read the full 6-month report here.
Building cladding that’s more effective at absorbing C02 and air pollution than trees has been developed by an organisation called Ecologic. The cladding is called ‘Photo.Synth.Etica’, and, per every two square meters can absorb on average the same amount of C02 as a fully grown tree.
The cladding works by capturing C02 molecules and other pollutants in the algae allowing it to grow into usable material in the form of biomass. The biomass can be used or sold on for the manufacture of other products such as biofuels. At the end of the process, the cladding releases freshly photosynthesised oxygen back into the urban environment.
A system of air suction pods has been developed by Pollution Solution that sucks in pollution created by vehicles. This works by installing a collection of suction pods that are partially submerged in the centre of a road which is a ‘hot spot’ for pollution.
The pods are connected below ground under the road pipework to extract the polluted air into a roadside cleaning unit. The air that exits the cleaning unit is cleaned by around 99% of particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. It is envisaged that the suction pods can be used as line markings in the road.
Brighton and Hove council have chosen Electric Blue to install 207 electric vehicle chargepoints, most of which will be on lampposts, over the coming months. Each charge point will be capable of delivering a full charge for vehicles parked overnight.
The chargepoints are expected to be installed by January 2020. Drivers can locate them by downloading an app, which will show the location of all chargepoints in the city making them easy to locate. The app will also inform drivers whether or not the charge points are currently in use. Drivers will be charged 28p every kilowatt-hour to charge their vehicles. This will help towards the upkeep of the chargepoints.
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