The Manila Aerosol Characterization Experiment (MACE-2015)

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Contents

Summary

Metro Manila, in the Philippines, is one of the major global agglomerations where air quality has degraded severely over the past years due to an immense increase in the volume and density motor traffic.

Air quality in Manila is distinct in that the particles observed here show an unusually high impact of fresh soot emissions. It is acknowledged among health researchers that soot particles in ambient air are one of the major hazards related to environmental pollutants.

MACE-2015 is an atmospheric research project that will shed light on the characteristics and absolute levels of particulate air pollution in Manila, and provide scientific reference data that can be used to analyse and disentangle the special complex of regional air quality problems.

From March to June 2015 specialized instrumentation in a container laboratory will be used to characterize and quantify vehicular emissions along two different roadside observation sites on Katipunan Avenue (Quezon City) and Taft Avenue (Manila City).

MACE-2015 is a collaborative effort between TROPOS and the Philippine Researchers for Clean Air (RESCueAir) consortium. MACE-2015 collaborators include, among others, the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Manila Observatory, and De La Salle University.

The consortium suggests that the measurements of particulate pollution in MACE-2015 will lead to a better understanding of their impact on the environment and public health, and help stakeholders formulate targeted abatement measures.

Background

According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) data, the number of registered motor vehicles in the Philippines has increased from 3.7 million to 7.5 million from the year 2000 to 2012, of which is registered in the National Capital Region. This doubling of vehicle fleet in a span of twelve years, is tantamount to traffic-related pollution levels especially in densely-populated urban centers such as Metro Manila. The 2009 Emissions Inventory of the DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) reports that 63% of the country’s emissions are attributed to traffic-related (or mobile) sources; 82% is estimated for the National Capital Region (NCR).

Aerosol particles are solid or liquid materials that are ubiquitous in the air. In an urban location, their main sources are traffic-related exhausts such as those from motor vehicles. Smoke houses, meat grilling, open burning of solid wastes, building exhausts, generator sets, road dust, manufacturing and construction activities contribute to aerosol particles as well. Natural sources can be sea sprays and volcanic dusts. Aerosol particles are specifically relevant because of their size, chemical composition and levels in the environment.

MACE-2015 Objectives

The Manila Aerosol Characterization Experiment (MACE-2015) takes place between March and June 2015, and has the following objectives:

  • Characterization of aerosol optical and microphysical properties of ambient particles in a Megacity that are dominated by Black Carbon emissions
  • Wavelength-dependent characterization of the atmospheric aerosol
  • Quantification of traffic emissions by roadside measurements
  • Spatial dispersion and distribution of the urban aerosol at street level
  • Dependency of particulate air quality on meteorological conditions
  • Potential health and regional climate effects

Unusual clean air conditions on May 13, 2015.

MACE-2015 Instrumentation

  • Particle number size distributions (SMPS, APS)
  • Total particle number concentration (CPC)
  • Single wavelength absorption (MAAP)
  • Multiple wavelength absorption (AE33)
  • Aerosol light scattering (EcoTech Nephelometer)
  • Mixing state of aerosol particles (V-TDMA)
  • Sonic anemometer, weather station, video camera
  • Berner impactor samples (PAH analysis)
  • Mini Vol sampler (EC/OC)
  • Cascade impactor (organic tracers, SEM)

Partners

Links

  • RESearchers for Clean AIR (RESCueAir)

Back to the Workgroup Tropospheric Aerosols.

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