Vehicle atmospheric pollution evaluation using AERMOD model at avenue in a Brazilian capital city

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One of the most complex environmental problems is the air pollution, and automotive vehicles are one of the main sources of urban air pollution. Aracaju-SE, Sergipe’s capital in the northeast of Brazil, faces frequent congestion in traffic and does not have a monitoring network of air quality, so mathematical models are useful for impact assessment. This work consisted of an unusual application of AERMOD View software for vehicular pollution evaluation at Tancredo Neves Avenue in Aracaju’s city. The modeling was performed for the two avenue tracks, considered as urban linear sources. The rate of emission source was calculated from emission factors, average speed, and the number of vehicles accounted for footage circulating on the promenade at peak times. Concentrations distributions of total suspended particles (TSP), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) on the mesh receptors were determinated from weather, topographic, and sources of emission data. The dispersion maps showed that the pollutants were concentrated around the sources; the estimated TSP concentrations were within the standards of CONAMA 491/2018 law. The CO concentration values exceeded the standard due to the high rate of emission sources. NO2 concentrations also exceeded the standard for hourly average, attributed to the contribution of heavy vehicles and the emission rates of light vehicles and motorcycles. The simulations showed that the meteorological and topographical conditions of Aracaju favor the atmospheric pollutants dispersion, that vehicles significantly affect air quality in the region and that the mathematical modeling is a useful tool for the study of atmospheric dispersion.

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The authors want to thank the “Ambientec Consultoria Ambiental LTDA.” for the disponibility of the AERMOD View software license.

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Correspondence to Maíra Feitosa Menezes Macêdo.

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Macêdo, M.F.M., Ramos, A.L.D. Vehicle atmospheric pollution evaluation using AERMOD model at avenue in a Brazilian capital city. Air Qual Atmos Health (2020) doi:10.1007/s11869-020-00792-z

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  • Air quality
  • Vehicle pollution
  • Atmospheric dispersion
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Particulate matter