Climate, air and sustainability
Translating knowledge of emissions and air quality into solutions to environmental issues. That is the expertise of Climate, air and sustainability, in which we take into account economic, social, and technological developments. We also include the knock-on effects on energy supply, industrial production, and mobility.
Climate change, air quality, and sustainability pose major challenges to policymakers, governments, and businesses. As a European leader in emissions and air quality expertise, we are eager to contribute to solutions. We can do this because we link our broad, up-to-date, and in-depth technical knowledge of processes and systems to a network of other, non-technical disciplines.
Monitoring system for greenhouse gas emissions
For the climate, we are working on a monitoring system for greenhouse gas emissions, in which we link knowledge about emissions and causes of emissions to dispersion models of satellite observations. We use these to study the emissions of countries and devise new methods to measure them.
What complicates matters is that the global concentration differences of CO2 in the atmosphere are extremely small. By measuring other substances in the atmosphere, we can determine whether emissions are changing at a specific point in time and which sources are responsible.
Trade-off between climate policy and air quality
Gas-free neighbourhoods are another example of our commitment to the climate. With pilot projects, we are mapping out the returns and combinations of options.
For industry, we are focussing on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in some sectors. We are also looking for win-win situations in the trade-off between climate policy and air quality.
Electric driving, for example, is encouraged from a climate policy perspective, but it is only when the electricity is generated cleanly that we have a truly sustainable solution. Wood-burning stoves in the housing sector are another example: a good option for the climate, but less favourable for air quality.
Polluting emissions and greenhouse gases
With technical knowledge of processes, we make comprehensive overviews of emissions and greenhouse gases, contributing to the air quality model LOTOS-EUROS[A1] . In addition to emission and weather data, such as wind, temperature, and precipitation, the model describes chemical reactions and other processes in the atmosphere. From a detailed scale of 1 kilometre to the level of a continent. The model is used, among other things, for smog reporting in the Netherlands and air quality forecasts in 200 European cities. Finally, we are mapping the deposition of nitrogen, which plays a major role in both cities and nature.
Strategic choice for sustainability
How do you make a production chain circular? What is the environmental benefit of reuse? What technologies are involved? How beneficial or detrimental is circularity? These and other questions are addressed through the theme of sustainability.
If your company is making a strategic choice for sustainability, we have a method available with which to examine your product range together. This can even be done in the design phase of your new product or fabric, making it apparent at an early stage whether a route leads to an improvement for the environment, and what you can do to successfully develop the production process further.
Gerard van der LaanFunctie:Research Manager Climate Air and Sustainability
Gerard van der Laan is an experienced Technology and Innovation Professional with a proven history in the energy industry and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Groningen. Gerard joined TNO as Senior Scientist, where he led the science and knowledge development on circular plastics within TNO. Currently, Gerard is integrally responsible for a research group of 70 professionals working on key societal challenges: air pollution, greenhouse gas monitoring, LCA and sustainability assessment and circularity at TNO.
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