Infoscience

Student project

An emissions inventory of air pollutants for the city of Bogota, Colombia

More than 8.5 million people live in the urban area of Bogotá and more than 1.4 million vehicles are taking the road every day. Air pollution is becoming more and more of a problem. Today, air pollution related respiratory diseases are the main cause of death in young children in Bogotá and more than 6000 people die prematurely every year in Colombia from cardiopulmonary diseases or lung cancer related to air pollution. The creation of a spatially and temporally distributed emission inventory with a relatively high resolution for mobile and stationary sources (i.e. traffic and industries), the subject of this thesis, is part of a bigger project aiming at the development of air quality and meteorological modeling tools for the Secretaría Distrital de Ambiente, Bogotá’s environmental agency. Five pollutants – carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – are taken into account for the mobile sources, only four of them – CO, SO2, NOx and PM – for the industrial sources. The sources are classified in different categories and their emission factors determined before the calculated emissions are distributed. For the mobile sources, the emissions were calculated and distributed using the EMISENS model developed jointly at the University of Strasbourg, France, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. A first attempt was made using the program and some rough input parameters. The obtained results and the uncertainty analysis included in the EMISENS model then allowed for a precise focusing of the efforts that needed to be made to improve the results for the second application of the model. Concerning the stationary sources, the distribution in time was based on operational information obtained from a field survey conducted by Universidad de los Andes and the distribution in space on the street addresses of the manufacturing plant. All this information was then represented graphically in ArcGIS®, enabling the visual analysis of the results. This study confirms an already known fact: the road traffic is responsible in most cases for more than 90% of the emissions and all abatement strategies should focus on these sources to be effective. The obtained quantities are close to the values given in previous studies and the distribution in space and time showed in the first comparisons good correlations with measured immission data.

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