Fighting pollution by forecasting the future

European researchers have developed real-time software that provides pollution forecasts for industrial plants and cities.


The TEAP (Tool Evaluating Air quality impact of air Pollution) software program runs daily on a set of interconnected PCs, providing a detailed pollution forecast based on complex mathematical and chemical modelling, information about the source factory (or factories) and their business, together with over a gigabyte of meteorological data that is updated daily.


The pollution forecast takes 18 hours to run and covers the subsequent 48-72 hours, highlighting any potential alerts where predicted pollutant levels exceed EU directive limits.


“TEAP simulates a comprehensive series of scenarios and uses email and SMS messages to alert managers as soon as a problem is forecast,” said Dr. Roberto San Jose, Director of the Environmental Software and Modelling Group at the Technical University of Madrid. These alerts allow managers to take pre emptive action.


“To date, air quality authorities have reacted after an incident by ordering cuts in factory production, sometimes when the pollution was caused by increased traffic and unusual climatic conditions,” says San Jose.


“With TEAP, potential causes can be highlighted in advance and accurately simulated to provide an action plan before the pollution outbreak occurs. Managers will be advised when production processes need to be cut or optimised to comply with EU directives, and they can also be given predictions of relevant implementation costs.”


TEAP was developed in conjunction with INDRA (Spain) and the Lithuanian Institute of Physics led by Dr. Vidmantas Ulevicius who investigated the factors determining the formation, transport, chemical transformation and deposition of various pollutants, as well as their impact on ecosystems.