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.
Annemieke van de RunstraatFunctie:Project Manager
Relying on her background in chemical engineering, Annemieke has over 20 years’ experience in coordinating and setting up experimental verification programmes and conducting research in a wide range of complex environments. Her broad professional knowledge, combined with her inner drive and natural organisational and people skills, make Annemieke the supporting lifeline for many technological developments.
Ardi DortmansFunctie:Director of Science
“Wouldn't it be nice if we had to explain to our grandchildren what garbage is?”. Ardi Dortmans is director of science at Circular Economy & Environment. Both inside and outside TNO he links research to what society needs. In this way, the research field is always moving.
Caroli BuitenhuisFunctie:Expert bioplastics packaging and products
Caroli works on sustainable change for global issues around packaging, plastics and microplastics. As a professional packaging expert, she understands the complex chains of packaging. As a bioplastics expert, she works on new sustainable concepts for packaging and products that fit within the circular economy worldwide. To this end, she works closely with all links in the value chain: from sourcing a raw material to recycling into new raw material.
Bioplastics, Biobased plastics, Biowaste plastics, Circular Plastics, Circular Economy.
Erlend DeckersFunctie:Program manager circular value creation
Esther van den BeukenFunctie:Clustermanager
Esther is committed to accelerating the transition towards using circular plastics and has a clear vision on how to reach those goals. Her work on complex issues requires her to collaborate intensively with small and large companies across the whole value chain, as well as with national and European inter-branch organisations and government agencies.
Looking for another expert?View all experts
Our latest developments
Critical raw materials: will their scarcity impede the energy transition goals?
Resource scarcity is on the rise. How do we secure Europe from critical raw materials? At TNO, we are working on answers with research.
Environmental modelling, sensing and analysis
With a multidisciplinary approach to measurement and detection, we specialise in researching harmful components in the environment. Read more.
Circular construction and infrastructure
How can we replace 10 to 20% of the construction materials we use with circular construction materials within a few years? By using our innovations for circular construction.
What is nitrogen and can we control it?
At present, knowledge of nitrogen still contains many uncertainties. We can improve this by measuring more often and with new technologies. Learn more.
How can we make plastics more sustainable? By extending their service life. We are researching the degradation of polymers and creating innovative solutions.