/Eindhoven launches the world’s first trial to capture fine dust in public spaces

Eindhoven launches the world’s first trial to capture fine dust in public spaces

During the next three months, in the center of Eindhoven, a trial is taking place to remove fine dust and soot from the urban air via parking garage ventilation and replace it with clean air released into the city. This will substantially improve the city’s air quality. Never before has there been such scientific research on large-scale urban air purification in public spaces. The ‘Lungs of the City’ project is a collaborative effort between the environmental innovation organization ENS Urban, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the municipality of Eindhoven and Air Liquide. The purpose of the trial is to provide a large-scale solution for increasing urban air pollution.

Research conducted last year by the Built Environment Department of Eindhoven University of Technology revealed that the technology’s effect on air quality in the center of Eindhoven could be substantial when fine dust and soot is captured in underground car parks and cleaned to be released back into the city. The researchers, led by Bert Blocken, Professor of Building Physics, used computer simulations and models to demonstrate that the potential improvement of city air extends beyond just the direct areas where the air is being cleaned.

World premiere

In the trial that will soon start, thirty air purification installations developed by ENS Urban will be placed next to the exit of the underground car park on the City Hall square (Stadhuisplein). “For the first time, there will be experiments with large-scale purification of urban air in the public areas of the city. In that respect, it is a world premiere,” says Blocken. An extensive network of high-quality measuring equipment will measure the concentrations of fine dust and soot in a large area around the City Hall square for four months. In addition, weather data will be collected, including wind direction and speed, to map the air movement.

The results of the study from TU/e in which the reduction of particulate matter concentrations in the city centre was simulated with the use of 594 air purification units. The darkness of the blue represents the reduction. In certain locations this reduction peaked to 50 percent less. (Photo: Eindhoven University of Technology).

Lungs of the City

The reason for purifying the air on the City Hall Square is because it is a wind-free spot, where air pollution levels are relatively high due to slow car traffic. “Thanks to our innovative air purification technology, the quality of the air leaving the underground car park is significantly better than the air entering it. Car parks act as ‘lungs of the city’ and make a positive contribution to the city’s air quality,” says Roel Gijsbers of the environmental innovation company ENS Urban, who originated the concept.

The “Aufero”, the air purification installation from ENS Urban of which thirty units will be used in this trial. (Photo: ENS Clean Air).

Promising

The test compares the airflow simulations of the TU/e with actual measurements and furthermore provides a public demonstration of the potential of the concept. “If the previous results are achieved in reality, the ‘Lungs of the City’ offers a new and proven solution for the large-scale elimination of air pollution in urban areas,” says Gijsbers. In addition to car parks, the concept can also be applied to eliminate fine dust in and around tunnels, train and bus stations, viaducts and busy traffic intersections. Through this approach, the existing infrastructure functions as the ‘clean lungs’ of the city.

Potential

The test compares the airflow simulations of the TU/e with actual measurements and furthermore provides a public demonstration of the potential of the concept. “If the previous results are achieved in reality, the ‘Lungs of the City’ offers a new and proven solution for the large-scale elimination of air pollution in urban areas,” says Gijsbers. In addition to car parks, the concept can also be applied to eliminate fine dust in and around tunnels, train and bus stations, viaducts and busy traffic intersections. Through this approach, the existing infrastructure functions as the ‘clean lungs’ of the city.

Open collaboration

“This trial is characterized by an open collaboration, which enabled a strong combination of the know-how and expertise from each partner. The open innovation approach helps identify and realize solutions to improve air quality on a large scale,” says Diederick Luijten, Vice President Industrial Merchant Air Liquide North West Europe.

2018-08-06T13:44:18+00:00Categories: Projects|Tags: , |
Our website uses cookies and embedded content.     Settings Accept

Analytical cookies

Through Google Analytics anonymous data on the surfing behaviour is collected on our website. This provides important statistics on the number of visitors, the pages visited, the traffic sources and other essential information with which we can continually improve our website for the users. These statistics are anonymous and cannot be traced back to a specific person or user. Read more about the use of Google Analytics.

Embedded content

Messages on our website may include embedded third-party content (eg YouTube and Vimeo videos, Google Maps and SoundCloud files). Embedded content from other websites act in the same way as when you visit the other website. These websites may collect information about you, including location data and user activity. Read more about the use of embedded content.