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Fighting pollution by forecasting the future


EUREKA project E! 2634 EUROENVIRON TEAP (Tool Evaluating Air quality impact of air Pollution) has created a real-time software solution to provide pollution forecasts for industrial plants, cities and air quality authorities. It will change the way pollution is dealt with and is set to increase the lead partner’s turnover by 25%.

The TEAP software program runs daily on a set of interconnected PCs, providing a detailed pollution forecast based on complex mathematical and chemical modelling, information about the source factory (or factories) and their business, together with over a gigabyte of meteorological data that is updated daily. The pollution forecast takes 18 hours to run and covers the subsequent 48–72 hours, highlighting any potential alerts where predicted pollutant levels exceed EU directive limits.

“TEAP simulates a comprehensive series of scenarios and uses email and SMS messages to alert managers as soon as a problem is forecast,” says Dr Roberto San José, Director of the Environmental Software and Modelling Group at the Technical University of Madrid. These alerts allow managers to take pre emptive action. “To date, air quality authorities have reacted after an incident by ordering cuts in factory production, sometimes when the pollution was caused by increased traffic and unusual climatic conditions,” says San José. “With TEAP, potential causes can be highlighted in advance and accurately simulated to provide an action plan before the pollution outbreak occurs. Managers will be advised when production processes need to be cut or optimised to comply with EU directives, and they can also be given predictions of relevant implementation costs.”

TEAP was developed in conjunction with INDRA S.A. (Spain) and the Lithuanian Institute of Physics led by Dr Vidmantas Ulevicius. This partner investigated the factors determining the formation, transport, chemical transformation and deposition of various pollutants, as well as their impact on ecosystems. “Environmental problems are growing in complexity and scope. Local management solutions can no longer address many of today’s problems. Awareness of the significant influence that human activities have on the natural environment and ecosystems is increasing,” says Ulevicius.

The TEAP software program is expected to create an increase in the lead partner’s turnover in the order of 25%, having developed a market worth about €0.3 million consisting of both the industrial companies causing air pollution and the authorities that manage them. “EUREKA was an excellent framework for developing TEAP. It facilitated the exchange of ideas between the European partners and gave us a ‘seal of quality’ for the development of the project,” says San José.

Julie Sors | alfa
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