Road salt emissions: A comparison of measurements and modelling using the NORTRIP road dust emission model

Publisher's full text
Bruce R. Denby
M. Ketzel
T. Ellermann
A. Stojiljkovic
K. Kupiainen
J. V. Niemi
M. Norman
C. Johansson
Sara Janhäll
I. Sundvor

De-icing of road surfaces is necessary in many countries during winter to improve vehicle traction. Large amounts of salt, most often sodium chloride, are applied every year. Most of this salt is removed through drainage or traffic spray processes but a certain amount may be suspended, after drying of the road surface, into the air and will contribute to the concentration of particulate matter. Though some measurements of salt concentrations are available near roads, the link between road maintenance salting activities and observed concentrations of salt in ambient air is yet to be quantified.

In this study the NORTRIP road dust emission model, which estimates the emissions of both dust and salt from the road surface, is applied at five sites in four Nordic countries for ten separate winter periods where daily mean ambient air measurements of salt concentrations are available. The model is capable of reproducing many of the salt emission episodes, both in time and intensity, but also fails on other occasions.

The observed mean concentration of salt in PM10, over all ten datasets, is 4.2 μg/m3 and the modelled mean is 2.8 μg/m3, giving a fractional bias of −0.38. The RMSE of the mean concentrations, over all 10 datasets, is 2.9 μg/m3 with an average R2 of 0.28. The mean concentration of salt is similar to the mean exhaust contribution during the winter periods of 2.6 μg/m3. The contribution of salt to the kerbside winter mean PM10 concentration is estimated to increase by 4.1 ± 3.4 μg/m3 for every kg/m2 of salt applied on the road surface during the winter season. Additional sensitivity studies showed that the accurate logging of salt applications is a prerequisite for predicting salt emissions, as well as good quality data on precipitation. It also highlights the need for more simultaneous measurements of salt loading together with ambient air concentrations to help improve model parameterisations of salt and moisture removal processes.

MEET US


5-6
Dec

Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region

The conference Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region is held i Vilnius, Lithuania. VTI is part of the organisation committé and also one of the speakers.

LATEST NEWS


2018-10-05

Users contribute to the development of train simulators

Apart from advanced driving simulators, VTI has developed several variations of train simulators which are used for training, education and research. In recent years, interest has increased drastically among major actors in the railway sector, and VTI has...


2018-10-03

VR study to contribute to a better working environment for bus drivers

A study where bus drivers test autonomous driving in a VR environment may contribute to a better working environment with reduced stress on the driver and safer driving.


2018-10-02

Non-native plant species spread via transport systems

Researchers at VTI have compiled a report on non-native invasive plant species in Sweden and how they spread via transport systems.


2018-09-20

EU-project VIRTUAL: improving road safety with virtual crash tests

Crash tests are used to improve safety on roads. Therefore the EU now funds a research project to develop virtual methods of crash testing. VTI coordinates the project, called VIRTUAL. The project now invites experts interested in Human Body Modeling to join...


2018-08-28

EU project protects cyclists and pedestrians

According to the World Health Organisation, more than one quarter of road traffic fatalities in 2010 were pedestrians and cyclists. Every year, about 335,000 unprotected road users die because of traffic accidents, which shows the scale of the problem. The EU...


2018-08-21

Swedish organisations in EU project on traffic safety and crash testing

Crash safety testing is one of the tools used to improve safety on roads. The EU is therefore funding a research project that started recently to develop virtual methods of crash testing. The long-term goal is to supplement the physical evaluation of crash...