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Title: Emissions abatement technology, fuels and low emissions vehicles : win-win for air quality and climate change
Author: Cairns, Justin
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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The impact of a change in emissions abatement technology, fuel or vehicle on carbon dioxide (CO) 2 and toxic air pollutant emissions derived from road transport was investigated. Road transport emissions were calculated and non-mobile source emissions rates were compiled for the base year 2005 for the City of Leicester, which was the case study for the research. Factor and cluster analysis were applied so that roads could be classified into groups, allowing diurnal traffic profiles to be assigned to roads with similar attributes prior to air quality modelling and to enable the characteristics of typical roads in Leicester to be identified. Five road classifications were developed. The emissions inventory compiled along with meteorological data, background pollutant concentration values and the five diurnal traffic profiles were input into an air quality model. The BOOT evaluation framework (Chang and Hanna 2005) was used to statistically evaluate the performance of the air quality model through comparisons of predicted and observed pollutant concentrations. The model was found to significantly over-predict and under-predict concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO) and particles with a diameter of less than ten microns (PM) at seven and five 210 monitoring locations across Leicester. A discussion of the sources of error in prediction was presented. The base-case was edited to reflect a change in emissions abatement technology, fuel or vehicle and emissions were recalculated. In addition, a vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) restriction was imposed on the vehicle fleet that did not allow any increase in VKT from the base year. The changes to the base-case were made in increments of 5% until 100% was reached. Regression analysis was used to create 13 models that allowed the impact of the road transport strategies on CO and pollutant 2 emissions to be explored. A reduction in both CO and toxic air pollutant emissions (‘win-win’) was found when the penetration 2 of zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to the car fleet was modelled. Overall, the highest reduction in toxic pollutant and CO emissions were found for ZEVs, 2 which represent electric vehicles (EVs) under current legislation. A 53% (or greater) penetration of ZEVs to the car fleet was the only strategy for which a 50% reduction in CO for a 1990 base was 2 found. Therefore, this indicates that substantial and arguably radical changes are required if air quality and climate change limit values and targets to be achieved. A win-win for air quality and climate change was found when new emissions abatement technology was introduced into the car fleet. However, greater pollutantemissions reductions were observed with the introduction of new emissions abatement technology to light goods vehicle (LGV) and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) stocks. These strategies were found to have a negligible impact on CO 2 emissions. Consequently a trade-off was found where a ‘win-win’ was achieved through changes to the car fleet but at the cost of higher pollutant emissions reductions from other strategies. The introduction of new emissions abatement technology to the bus fleet on roads predominantly on key traffic corridors within Leicester’s air quality management area (AQMA) resulted in substantial air quality benefits. The same strategy did not result in a reduction in CO emissions. However, in the 2 context of an overall sustainable transport strategy the benefits of increasing bus patronage, which in turn may reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road, is likely to have a more than compensatory effect. Substantial pollutant emissions reductions were found as a result of the introduction of new emissions abatement technology into the HGV and LGV fleets. However, these strategies were found to have negligible CO emissions reductions and therefore did not provide a win-win for air quality and climate change. Similarly, a win-win from the introduction of LPG to the car fleet was not found. Therefore, the uptake of LPG or investment in the introduction of new emissions abatement technology to the LGV or HGV fleets should only be considered as a part of a sustainable policy package that comprises other measures, such as logistics optimisation or a reduction in VKT. The findings of this research were used to inform a set of policy actions for Leicester City Council.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available