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Brussels starts measuring emissions in real time

Credit: Belga

The Brussels Region will start measuring the actual amount of emissions of cars passing through the capital in real time at ten strategic locations, Brussels Environment announced on Monday.

With the project, which is the first of its kind in Brussels, smart cameras and sensors will compare emissions of nitrous oxide and particulate matter to theoretical numbers based on laboratory tests and combat soot filter fraud.

“‘Dieselgate’ has shown that the pollution emitted while driving too often differs from the results obtained during laboratory tests or homologations,” Brussels Environment said in a press release.

Brussels Environment has called on the help of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and of TRUE (The Real World Urban Emissions) to use a technique known as ‘remote sensing’, which uses a sensor and a laser beam to measure the emissions of all motor vehicles without interrupting traffic, Bruzz explained.

The devices can measure carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter, nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ammonia (NH3).

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A camera will register licence plates to compare information about the car to the measured emissions.

However, “the information received is anonymous,” Brussels Environment said, adding that panels will inform motorists about the different measurement locations.

Those locations will include the Rue de la Loi, Avenue de Tervueren and the Boulevard Industriel in Anderlecht, though they will vary from one day to the next, Brussels Environment said in its press release.

Results of the campaign, which will run from October until December, are expected in the second quarter of next year, according to Brussels Environment.

The results “will help identify concrete actions to combat air and noise pollution caused by traffic, in particular to achieve the phase-out of thermal engines and to better detect soot filter fraud,” the organisation said. The goal is not to sanction drivers, Bruzz added.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times