An Internet application, VEDAIR, for estimation of air quality in regions with small-scale combustion of bio fuel has been developed by Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute with financing from Swedish Energy Agency and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The model contains user interface and a coupled model concept where concentrations of atmospheric pollutions are calculated for regional, urban and local contributions. In this report the model is described and a first study of air quality considering PM10 (particles with a diameter less than 10 µm) in two Swedish municipalities, Vänersborg and Gnosjö, is introduced.
According to the result, there are areas with poor air quality even in smaller Swedish municipalities, mostly due to high emission from buildings with older wood heating furnace without hydraulic accumulator.
In Vänersborg three areas were analysed in VEDAIR for the year 2003: Vargön, Mariedal and the downtown district. In the whole municipality the upper evaluation threshold for PM10, which is defined as 14 µg/m3 for annual average, was exceeded due to background contribution of particles. In all areas, however, the concentrations of PM10 were less than the environmental quality norms. In Vargön, where wood heating furnaces are commonly used, in some areas the concentration of particles was as big as or bigger than the downtown district (annual average of 20 µg/m3). However, in downtown the pollutants were more spread. Biggest concentrations of PM10 were estimated in Mariedal, due to emissions from older wood heating furnaces and streets, mostly in areas with unfavourable meteorological conditions. Measurements of PM10 in the area are therefore suggested. Biggest concentrations of PM10 were prevailed during winter, due to great heating need in combination with cooler air temperature and more stable stratification. The local contribution of PM10 was negative correlated with temperature. In the downtown district, however, the biggest concentrations of PM10 were obtained during spring due to usage of studded tyres.
In Gnosjö the air quality considering PM10 was analysed in the areas Götarp, downtown and Gårö. Calculations in VEDAIR showed that the emissions from traffic were much less than wood heating furnace. The background annual average of PM10 in Gnosjö was 1 µg/m3 higher than Vänersborg. The air quality was quite equal as in Vänersborg, but there was an area in Gårö where the environmental quality norms considering PM10 almost were exceeded, this mostly due to emission from one building with high heating need.
In this study a comparison between calculated concentrations of PM10 with measured concentrations in Gnosjö for the period 3 November to 31 December 2003 was also made. The validation showed that VEDAIR underestimated the concentrations, but the result was anyway reasonable. Before, validations have only been performed for the northern part of Sweden, and this study indicates that VEDAIR also estimates concentrations of PM10 sufficiently well in southern part of Sweden.
The study also showed that if a house owner would replace an old wood heating furnace by a modern furnace with hydraulic accumulator, the annual average of the concentration of PM10 could decrease by 4 µg/m3 which is a reduction of 25%.