Climate, Air and Sustainability

Translating knowledge of emissions and air quality into solutions for environmental issues: this is the area of expertise of Climate, Air & Sustainability (CAS). In doing so, we take into account economic, social and technological developments. In addition, we consider the impact on energy supply, industrial production and mobility.

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Climate change, air quality and sustainability present policy makers, public authorities and companies with important challenges. As Europe’s leader in the field of emissions and air quality, TNO is happy to contribute to solutions. We’re able to do this primarily because we link our broad, up-to-date and in-depth technical knowledge of processes and systems to a network of various non-technical knowledge disciplines.

Verification system for greenhouse gas emissions

In regard to the climate, we’re working on a verification system for greenhouse gas emissions. On the basis of knowledge about emissions and the causes of emissions, coupled with diffusion models of satellite observations, we’re investigating countries’ emissions and devising new methods to measure them. What makes it so complex is that the global differences in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere are very small. By measuring other substances in the atmosphere, we’re able to determine whether emissions are changing at any given time and which sources are responsible.

Trading off climate policy for air quality

Natural gas-free neighbourhoods are another example of our commitment to the climate. We use pilot projects to identify yields and combinations of possibilities. For industry, we focus on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in specific sectors. We’re also looking for win-win situations in the trade-off of climate policy for air quality. Electric driving, for instance, is encouraged through climate policy, but a sustainable solution can only be found when the electricity is generated cleanly. Another example is wood-burning stoves in the residential sector: a good option for the climate, but less favourable for air quality.

Polluting emissions and greenhouse gases

Using our technical knowledge of processes, we create total overviews of emissions and greenhouse gases. In this way, we contribute to the air quality model LOTOS-EUROS. Besides emission data and meteorological data, such as wind, temperature and precipitation, this model describes chemical reactions and other processes in the atmosphere. From a detailed scale of one kilometre up 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 identify the decomposition of nitrogen, which plays a major role both in cities and in nature.

A strategic choice for sustainability

How do you make a production chain circular? What are the environmental benefits of reuse? Which technologies are involved? How convenient or inconvenient is circularity? We focus on these and other questions within the theme of sustainability. When you as a company make a strategic choice for sustainability, we have methods available to examine your product portfolio together. Even in the design phase of your new product or material, we make it clear whether or not a route leads to an improved environmental profile and what you can do to further develop your production process successfully.

Our work

Eurbanlab - Validating sustainable urban innovations

Eurbanlab - a consortium of European market parties and research institutes – aims to accelerate the dissemination and application of sustainable innovations in urban renewal projects. Eurbanlab validates... Read more
Our work

EnerGEO - Earth Observation for impact on Energy Use

Demand for energy is growing worldwide and will continue to do so in the decades ahead. Since the production, transport and use of energy have a significant impact on the environment, there is global... Read more
Our work

MACC - Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate

MACC-II - Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate - Interim Implementation is a Collaborative Project (2011-2014) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme. It is coordinated... Read more

Buildings, Infrastructure & Maritime

TNO supports industry and government to realise reliable, efficient and sustainable solutions in the building, civil infrastructure and maritime and offshore sectors. With our pioneering role in the development... Read more

Origin of fine particles in sharper focus with free website

23 October 2018
Fine particles are bad for your health, causing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases plus premature death. Reliable data on their origin is desperately needed. TNO’s web application TOPAS provides policymakers... Read more

New study shows need for methane measurement programme

01 August 2018
After CO2 , methane is the main contributor to climate change. International studies in which TNO was involved suggest that Dutch assumptions about sources of methane emissions are not correct. Methane... Read more

Expertise groups

Jamilja van der Meulen

  • Climate
  • Sustainability

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