Managing levels of PM2.5 from wood burning smoke emissions through combined air quality modelling, real-time sensor measurements, and data services.
Air quality and the dangers of high concentrations of ambient air pollution is of growing concern within day-to-day life. With remote working still in place for most of the country together with colder winter temperatures, it is inevitable that the usage of domestic burners and open fires increases, contributing to a rise in local levels of particulate matter (PM2.5), a pollutant which can contribute to and worsen health problems including COPD, diabetes, and asthma.
Identifying and mitigating PM2.5 emissions from activities including wood burning stoves, open fires, bonfires, waste burning and restaurants, may be the transforming factor that enables large scale improvements in public health.
This is an area that the air quality specialist, EarthSense, has been supporting as part of a cutting-edge project with Leicester City Council, which utilises their full air quality monitoring service including sensors, modelling and guidance. This system is designed to clearly communicate the consequences of burning wood at specific times and places for the residents of Leicester.
To do this, a collection of data was used to feed into the model, including Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for calculations of how pollution flows throughout urban canyons and buildings in Leicester, source apportionment to identify each of the particulate matter sources, a traffic layer as well as a wood burning smoke estimate created by EarthSense for the Council.