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Bad Air, Great Science

Bad Air, Great Science

Scientists are working out where the pollution from our cars travels to and how this pollution is affecting the air we breathe.

Research led by Igor Kvatch at Opus Central Laboratories is assessing the movement of transport pollution around our city streets.

“Transport pollution is a combination of the type and quantity of pollutants emitted by vehicles and the way in which these pollutants move away from the road and into urban air spaces,” said Mr Kvatch.

“There are many factors which can influence the emissions from vehicles, such as the type and condition of the vehicle, the behaviour of the driver and hot running or cold starts.”

The research, an investment of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, has measured the pollution from about 20,000 vehicles using New Zealand road tunnels.

“There is a lack of data on the types and the quantities of pollutant emitted by New Zealand vehicles and the difficulty of being able to predict how these pollutants would move through an inner-city environment,” said Mr Kvatch.

“One part of the research has been developing modelling techniques, so that dispersion of the pollutants through a complex built environment can be understood.” “Computer models are usually used to track pollutant dispersion in more simple environments. However, in a complex built environment, air movement is strongly affected by buildings and is highly variable.”

“Physical modelling techniques of using true scale models of cities such as Wellington are being developed. Once developed this technique will allow the movement of pollutants within inner- city areas to be understood in detail, and as a result the exposure of inner city users and residents to potential hazard from pollutants will be able to be assessed.”

For further information: Igor Kvatch, Opus Central Laboratories, { HYPERLINK "mailto:igor.kvatch@opus.co.nz" }igor.kvatch@opus.co.nz, Ph: 04 587 0620. Vince Dravitzki, Opus Central Laboratories, { HYPERLINK "mailto:Vince.Dravitzki@opus.co.nz" }Vince.Dravitzki@opus.co.nz Ph 04 587 0638 Madeleine Setchell, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Ph: 04 498 7806, Mobile 025 406 040, { HYPERLINK mailto:madelein@frst.govt.nz }madelein@frst.govt.nz


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