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8 Mar 2023New research projects for improved regulatory modelling

Organisations which protect air quality need rapid and robust ways to assess the pollution impacts of industrial activities. The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA) commission research to improve regulatory modelling techniques. CERC are working on several research projects for both organisations as part of Defra’s Research Development & Evidence Framework Agreement, in collaboration with Air Quality Consultants (AQC).

It is important to quantify landfill emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, but difficult to make accurate and representative emissions measurements. CERC are exploring inverse modelling methods for estimating landfill methane emissions from concentration measurements in two linked projects for the EA. These aim to better understand variations in methane releases and to recommend methods for combining measurements with modelling, to improve ongoing assessments of landfill emissions.

CERC and AQC are collaborating on an EA funded study of established and developing air quality assessment methods which use modelling, monitoring and integrated techniques. The aim is to identify aspects of air quality assessment where new research would be valuable. This includes defining preparatory work for new approaches and providing a strategy for future research funding. The project team investigated the opinions of key experts in the field through recent workshops and individual interviews.

Carbon capture and storage technologies are being developed to reduce the climate change impacts of combustion processes. Amine chemicals used to remove carbon dioxide from exhaust gases can be released to the atmosphere in small quantities, potentially creating harmful products (nitramines and nitrosamines) through chemical reactions. CERC previously developed ADMS to model amine chemistry. For ADMS 6 this module has been extended to model multiple types of amine and associated products simultaneously. With support from Defra, CERC are investigating sensitivities of the ADMS amine modelling and developing a tool to calculate the chemical properties for a wide range of amines.

Air pollution screening methods use simple estimates of impacts to assess whether more detailed modelling is needed. CERC have a leading technical role in an EA funded project to improve screening techniques for small industrial sources. These sources have release heights up to 20 m above ground and are often affected by nearby buildings. CERC are also reviewers in a project for the EA assessing air quality impacts from intermittent generator testing activity.

We look forward to sharing project outcomes with the air quality modelling community.

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18 Jan 2023Recent CERC research publications

Alongside core activities of developing air quality modelling software and providing environmental consultancy services, CERC take an active role in UK and international scientific research activities. 2022 was a busy year for CERC's research team, with ten published co-author journal articles.

New software development and evaluation was covered in two papers. The improved elevated roads modelling implemented in ADMS-Urban and ADMS-Roads, commissioned by Highways England (now National Highways), was discussed and evaluated by O'Neill et al., upper image. Seaton et al. described the simplified near-road dispersion model based on ADMS-Urban developed within the SPF Clean Air Programme Multi-Model Air Quality System for Health Research (MAQS-Health) project, managed by the UK Met Office.

CERC were co-authors in two publications related to the NERC-funded West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme (WM-Air) project, led by the University of Birmingham. Regional modelling of fine particulates including regional and national emissions scenarios was described in Mazzeo et al. Coupled regional-to-local modelling using the ADMS-Urban Regional Model Link system to generate street-scale concentrations was covered in Zhong et al., with annual average NO2 concentrations shown in the lower image.

CERC's work in developing a system to predict adverse meteorological conditions at Hong Kong International Airport was reported in two papers in the Atmosphere journal. These latest results, from a productive collaboration with Hong Kong Observatory that began in 2010, describe the development and evaluation of a wind shear forecasting system.

CERC also contributed to a study of emissions in Beijing, using modelling of perturbed ensembles (Yuan et al.), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge and Tsinghua University Beijing. Work with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) studied the consequences of reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and/or volatile organic compounds (VOC) in Guangzhou (China) and surrounding areas using regional-to-local modelling, reported in Zhang et al. Other activities included evaluation of uncertainty in urban air quality sensor measurements (Peters et al.) and consideration of standardised source terms for dispersion and transmission modelling of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Stettler et al.).

Further information about CERC research is available from our earlier co-author publications and presentations. Publications from other groups using our modelling software are also available.


13 Dec 2022Chief Medical Officer's air pollution report features CERC modelling

Three of CERC's projects are featured in a recent report from the Chief Medical Officer for England. The 2022 annual report focusses on air pollution, discussing the effects of air pollution on health, reporting progress made in improving air quality over recent decades, and highlighting possibilities for achievable solutions for continuing improvement. It includes discussion of both outdoor and indoor air pollution and gives suggestions for future research. The outdoor air pollution modelling projects involving CERC described in the report are:

The CERC website gives additional information about CERC's research, including recent publications.


29 Nov 20222022 ADMS User Group Meetings – presentations are available to download

Following this year's ADMS User Group Meetings, which took place in Birmingham on 16-17 November, electronic copies of the presentations are now available to download from the CERC website User Area. Model users with a valid support contract, including all annual licence holders, are entitled to register for password-protected access to the User Area. To register, or to be reminded of your password, click here.

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31 Oct 2022Run Manager 5.0 released

CERC's model run management software has just been updated and licence holders will be able to download the new version from the User Area.

Run Manager centralises and schedules model runs company-wide to make the most of your CERC software licence(s). Any number of users can manage their own work via the Run Manager interface, allowing them to submit, monitor progress, view estimated completion times, and retrieve output from finished runs. Run Manager will schedule runs and, in typical set ups, distribute them over a number of dedicated licensed runs machines on your local network, freeing up you own PC for other work. We are always available to talk with users about optimising their model licensing with Run Manager. In summary, Run Manager

  • Manages runs for all users of ADMS 5, ADMS-Urban, ADMS-Roads and ADMS-Airport
  • Allows priority scheduling of runs
  • Accurately estimates run completion times
  • Manages and optimises licensing on Runs Machines

Version 5.0 includes the following updates:

  • Supports ADMS-Urban, ADMS-Roads & ADMS-Airport split runs
  • Easy model setup using model definition files supplied with each product
  • Upgrades your existing setup, keeping all model definitions and user-settings
  • Handles shut-down of Run Manager during run execution
  • Supports zipped output files greater than 4GB

We also offer bespoke run services, which can provide faster turnaround times using CERC's own computing resources. You may find this most useful for large split runs, such as those encountered with ADMS-Urban, or projects with tight deadlines.

For further information about Run Manager or our run services, please contact us.

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