Emissions from traffic with alternative fuels - air pollutants and health risks in 2020

Facing the problems with global warming and the diminishing supplies of oil, alternative fuels are becoming more and more important for road traffic. Several alternative fuels are being tested such as biogas, alcohols and dimethyl ether (DME).

The study includes the following fuels: replacement of petrol with diesel for light duty vehicles (LDV); natural gas for LDVs; natural gas for heavy duty vehicles (HDV); ethanol for HDVs; biodiesel for HDVs; dimethyl ether (DME) for HDVs. The analysis and modelling are done in four steps: 1) Creating an emission model. This is done for Europe and in more detail for Västra Götaland. 2) Dispersion modelling using EMEP (the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme) for Europe and TAPM (The Air Pollution Model) for the Västra Götaland Region. 3) Calculation of population exposure to different air pollutants in the Västra Götaland Region and 4) health risk assessments.

The emission scenarios for 2020 are constructed for all listed fuels and dispersion modelling is applied to some of them to obtain the human exposure to key air pollutants in the region. The dispersion modelling is performed with the EMEP model for extended Europe and the data obtained are used as boundary conditions for the model for the Västra Götaland region. In the latter, detailed traffic and emissions scenarios are used together with the TAPM model to obtain concentration levels and population exposure. The differences in health impacts are then assessed.

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