Between 22 August and 9 September, scientists from various research institutes, including TNO, will investigate how we can best monitor the reduction of urban greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The first measurement will start next week in the Rotterdam region and will be coordinated by VU Amsterdam. TNO uses fixed and mobile measuring points, aircraft and even satellite observations for this.


The activities take place in collaboration with the Ruisdael Observatory and are part of European projects.Emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution are estimated based on calculations and emissions reported by companies. Air quality is monitored by the national air quality monitoring network.


Additional measurements are required to determine urban emissions and their planned reduction. This period of the year is interesting because many activities start again after the relatively quiet holiday period. The scientists hope to see this in their measurements.The center of Rotterdam and the port are important sources of greenhouse gases and air pollution. In addition to the permanent monitoring stations of the Ruisdael Observatory in the Rotterdam region , measurement vehicles, bicycles, a measurement trailer and two measurement aircraft and satellite observations will also be used during the campaign to map these sources.


During the campaign, our TNO researchers will measure greenhouse gases and air quality (particulate matter, soot and nitrogen) at all possible scales and resolutions. We also coordinate the permanent measuring stations where advanced additional measuring instruments of all participants are temporarily installed.We will place a trailer in Rotterdam especially for the campaign, for additional particulate matter measurements such as ultrafine particulate matter, soot and chemical composition. TNO previously argued for a different particulate matter policy that is based more on the numbers of particles and the actual contribution to health damage. Because this can differ per region, the detailed measurements are so important for Rotterdam.In addition, TNO will drive a mobile measurement vehicle, which will contain equipment for greenhouse gas and air quality measurements, in order to map various emission sources.


An aircraft will fly over the city for TNO and make nitrogen dioxide (NO2) measurements with an accuracy of a few square meters. This provides valuable insights for the spatial distribution in Rotterdam and for TNO’s development of new satellite instruments that must be able to measure emissions worldwide, structurally and accurately at installation level. The satellite instruments that fly now have limited accuracy and can only see very large sources.Even from space, satellite instruments will be watching, such as the Dutch TROPOMI instrument that focuses on air pollution and the NASA OCO-3 instrument for measuring carbon dioxide. The measurements will later be used to improve detailed models of urban greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.


The Ruisdael Observatory is a scientific consortium set up to enable more accurate and detailed forecasts of weather and air quality.It is a collaboration between researchers from KNMI, RIVM, Utrecht University, University of Groningen, VU University Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research, TNO, coordinated by TU Delft. The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) funds the Ruisdael Observatory.


The campaign in Rotterdam does not stand alone, but is part of the European projects RI-Urbans and ICOS Cities in which TNO participates. Studies will also be conducted in other European cities, including Paris, Bucharest and Milan, this summer and fall.

Source: TNO