Climate change and air pollution
Limiting climate change and air pollution is perhaps society's greatest challenge. We can help achieve this. We’re developing methods to measure particulate matter, nitrogen, and greenhouse gases. And we're identifying the sources and effects of emissions. This enables companies and governments to take effective measures. In this way, we're playing a key role in initiating the climate transition.
In the Paris Agreement, climate goals were agreed upon worldwide. The Netherlands has promised a 49% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In addition, there’s a global and European desire to further reduce air pollution. There’s increasing scientific evidence of the harmful effects of air pollution – especially particulate matter – on health.
To achieve these goals, radical changes are needed worldwide, in the energy system, factories, buildings, traffic, and agriculture. Therefore, it’s important to know the origins of emissions, how they affect climate change and air pollution, and how we can effectively reduce them.
Effective against air pollution
We have many years of experience in mapping emissions in all sectors. By combining measurements, satellite data, and complex climate modelling, we can determine the sources and effects of emissions with ever greater precision. We can then advise and support companies and governments in reducing emissions. Examples include:
- A greenhouse gas monitoring system: we’re developing methods and models to measure emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. For example, we’re working with international partners on a European monitoring system for greenhouse gases based on measurement and satellite data.
- Getting to grips with sources of particulate matter: our 'particulate matter tool’ TOPAS (TNO Operational Source Apportionment Service) provides insight into the origin of particulate matter. TOPAS can explain why there’s a lot of particulate matter at certain locations and what the cause is. This allows precautionary measures to be taken.
- Detailed mapping of nitrogen deposition: we map the deposition of nitrogen in vulnerable areas. Understanding eutrophication and acidification is important for maintaining biodiversity and productivity. Deposition maps help policymakers take the right measures against air pollution to protect these areas.
Fred HartendorfFunctie:Business developer Circular economy and environment
Paula BronsveldFunctie:Cluster manager climate and air quality
Martijn SchaapFunctie:Researcher air quality
Major environmental challenges of the 21st century relate to the composition of our atmosphere. Exposure to pollutants such as particulate matter is associated with significant health impacts. Deposition of atmospheric reactive nitrogen causes a loss of biodiversity in ecosystems through eutrophication.
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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.
Greenhouse gas monitoring and verification
Measuring air quality for a healthy environment
Poor air quality causes around 80% of diseases due to environmental factors. For a healthier future, we research and measure the air quality.
How CCU can shape the carbon transition
Carbon capture and utilisation, or CCU, is a technology that involves capturing CO2 emitted from (industrial) processes and using it to make new products. It therefore doesn’t only reduce CO2 emissions, it creates new market potential. Government and industry alike see the necessity of understanding which CCU value chains are future-proof and economically, environmentally and politically viable. The Province of Zuid-Holland wanted to know what role CCU has in the future for the province.