Comparasion of road traffic emission models in Madrid (Spain)

Borge García, Rafael, Miguel, Isabel de, Paz Martín, David de la, Lumbreras Martin, Julio, Pérez Rodríguez, Javier and Rodríguez Hurtado, María Encarnación (2012). Comparasion of road traffic emission models in Madrid (Spain). "Atmospheric Environment", v. 62 ; pp. 461-471. ISSN 1352-2310.


Title: Comparasion of road traffic emission models in Madrid (Spain)
  • Borge García, Rafael
  • Miguel, Isabel de
  • Paz Martín, David de la
  • Lumbreras Martin, Julio
  • Pérez Rodríguez, Javier
  • Rodríguez Hurtado, María Encarnación
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Atmospheric Environment
Date: December 2012
ISSN: 1352-2310
Volume: 62
Freetext Keywords: Emission inventory; Road traffic; Emission models; Air quality modelling; NO2; Madrid
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Industriales (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería Química Industrial y del Medio Ambiente
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Many cities in Europe have difficulties to meet the air quality standards set by the European legislation, most particularly the annual mean Limit Value for NO2. Road transport is often the main source of air pollution in urban areas and therefore, there is an increasing need to estimate current and future traffic emissions as accurately as possible. As a consequence, a number of specific emission models and emission factors databases have been developed recently. They present important methodological differences and may result in largely diverging emission figures and thus may lead to alternative policy recommendations. This study compares two approaches to estimate road traffic emissions in Madrid (Spain): the COmputer Programme to calculate Emissions from Road Transport (COPERT4 v.8.1) and the Handbook Emission Factors for Road Transport (HBEFA v.3.1), representative of the ‘average-speed’ and ‘traffic situation’ model types respectively. The input information (e.g. fleet composition, vehicle kilometres travelled, traffic intensity, road type, etc.) was provided by the traffic model developed by the Madrid City Council along with observations from field campaigns. Hourly emissions were computed for nearly 15 000 road segments distributed in 9 management areas covering the Madrid city and surroundings. Total annual NOX emissions predicted by HBEFA were a 21% higher than those of COPERT. The discrepancies for NO2 were lower (13%) since resulting average NO2/NOX ratios are lower for HBEFA. The larger differences are related to diesel vehicle emissions under “stop & go” traffic conditions, very common in distributor/secondary roads of the Madrid metropolitan area.

In order to understand the representativeness of these results, the resulting emissions were integrated in an urban scale inventory used to drive mesoscale air quality simulations with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modelling system (1 km2 resolution). Modelled NO2 concentrations were compared with observations through a series of statistics. Although there are no remarkable differences between both model runs, the results suggest that HBEFA may overestimate traffic emissions. However, the results are strongly influenced by methodological issues and limitations of the traffic model. This study was useful to provide a first alternative estimate to the official emission inventory in Madrid and to identify the main features of the traffic model that should be improved to support the application of an emission system based on “real world” emission factors.

More information

Item ID: 16552
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.08.073
Official URL:
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 20 Jan 2014 19:13
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2017 18:09
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