OPTAIR: Multi-criteria optimization for air quality
Supported by the Austrian Research Foundation FFG,
Project No. 814799 and the Province of Lower Austria
management and emission control
2. State of the art
While there are commercially available systems for both air quality assessment and
emission control (primarily related to energy systems optimization at
a macro-economic, global, regional, or national levels mainly)
there is no system to the best of our knowledge that effectively
combines these two policy relevant features despite their obvious,
and exploitable interdependency, and certainly no
web-based implementation for direct user access.
Basic model systems for air quality assessment as well
as individual models with increasingly user friendly interfaces
are being offered commercially by a number of potential competitors
in the USA (LakeView), Norway, (NILU) France, (ARIA) or Sweden (INDIC/AirViro).
However, none of these systems offers the degree of automation,
integration and web based performance that AirWare is aiming at.
Emphasis is most commonly on the analysis and display
of monitoring data, and modeling is usually restricted to
scenario analysis of very simple regulatory models.
Where complex models are being used, it is often in the context of academic research
for selected problems, but not on an operational basis or
web accessible beyond academic dissemination.
While there is a considerable scientific literature on
the topic (see the bibliography below),
there hardly are operational software systems ready to use.
Complex optimization in the field of energy systems and thus emissions
are offered by very few companies across Europe, including ORDECSYS,
in Switzerland, EURODECISION in France. However, solutions and tools
offered are either at a macroeconomic level, usually national if
not global, related to emission trading, or at a very detailed technical
(process control) level of individual combustion processes,
industrial boilers, burners, and internal combustion engines
in the automotive sector, etc.
A typical example of an optimization model related to air pollution is
IIASA's RAINS at continental scale. However, this leaves the intermediate
level between process control and national, macroeconomic scales including
the target of the EU Air Quality Framework Directives (96/62/EC), i.e.,
urban conglomerations of more than 250,000 inhabitants, as yet uncovered.
However, the potential benefit of the proposed integrated approach
is being recognized (from the summary report of the IIASA 2003 Workshop
on Linkages and Synergies of Regional and
Global Emission Control (www.iiasa.ac.at/rains/meetings/AP&GHG-Jan2003/announcement.html):
Many of the traditional air pollutants and greenhouse gases have common sources,
their emissions interact in the atmosphere, and separately or jointly
they cause a variety of environmental effects at the local,
regional and global scales. Thus, emission control strategies that simultaneously
address air pollutants and greenhouse gases could be beneficial at all scales.
The atmospheric and air quality simulation models used as the basis for
optimization are state of the art; the integration of non-hydrostatic
prognostic meteorological models like MM5 (an alternative models under
consideration is WRF), dynamic emission models, and 3D dynamic air quality models
like CAMx together with monitoring data and data assimilation
is certainly on the cutting edge of current model technology,
not the least for performance reasons for larger domains as they are
required for realistic ozone simulations at high resolution.
The role of science in the climate policy discussions is documented,
for example, by DG Environment: