Research conducted by the TU/e revealed that the effect on air quality in the city center of Eindhoven could be substantial when fine dust and soot is captured in underground car parks and clean air is released back into the city. The researchers used computer simulations and models to demonstrate that the potential improvement of city air extends well beyond the immediate areas.

Feasibility study

The feasibility of “Lungs of the City” is being investigated by Eindhoven University of Technology

In the first phase of the project, TU/e has investigated the potential of purifying the city air by implementing ENS Urban air purification systems in parking garages in the city center of Eindhoven. The effect on air quality was analyzed using three-dimensional computer simulations (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD).

Under the direction of Professor Bert Blocken (Research Group Urban Physics and Wind Engineering), the buildings in the city center of Eindhoven were mapped out in great detail. 16 underground parking garages were included, to allow the analysis of the effect of the reduction of particulate matter in these parking garages on the concentration of particulate matter and soot in the city. Two scenarios were analyzed: one minimum scenario with 99 and one maximum scenario with 594 air purification systems.

Promising results

Improving the city air extends well beyond the immediate surroundings of the parking garage

The study, supported by Smart Energy Regions (SER) and the municipality of Eindhoven, showed that the potential improvement of city air is large and extends well beyond the immediate surroundings of the parking garages. The cleaned air is transported by the wind, as a result of which it also reaches the surrounding (residential) areas. The research shows that application of 99 air purification systems decreases the concentration of particulate matter around the parking garages by 10%. Application of 594 systems significantly enhances this effect. A reduction of 10% was measured up to one kilometer from the parking garage, locally up to 50%.

The research was published in the journal Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics in October 2016: Reduction of outdoor particulate matter concentrations by local removal in semi-enclosed parking garages: A preliminary case study for Eindhoven city center.

Validation of the research

Eindhoven is starting the world’s first trial with the capture of particulate matter in the public space

Following the feasibility study, a validation project was started at the Stadhuisplein in the city center of Eindhoven, in December 2017. During a three month period, thirty air purification systems will clean the city air via parking garage ventilation and release clean air back into in the city. This will substantially improve the air quality in the city center of Eindhoven.

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