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A modelling study of the impact on air quality and health due to theemissions from E85 and petrol fuelled cars in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
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2014 (English)In: Atmospheric Environment, ISSN 1352-2310, Vol. 82, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alternative fuels are becoming more and more important for road traffic and one fuel that has been usedfor several years is ethanol (E85). The main discussion points regarding the environmental performancefor ethanol as a fuel are related to the production. However, there are also some notable differences inthe emissions between E85 and petrol fuelled vehicles. This relates to some extent to the emissions ofnitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) but mainly to the composition of the emitted organiccompounds. In the present study two fuel scenarios for passenger cars are investigated for the VästraGötaland Region in Sweden; one where the cars with Otto engines run on petrol and one where they runon E85. Two emission scenarios for 2020 are constructed for the whole Europe and coupled dispersionchemistrymodelling is applied to obtain the population exposure to key pollutants. The differencesobtained from the modelling show decreased levels of NOx, ozone and benzene with E85 and increasedlevels of acetaldehyde in the Västra Götaland Region. For the latter the increase may be up to 80%, whileNOx and ozone show decreases of up to a few per cent and a few tenths of per cent, respectively.Exposure to the different air pollutants is calculated as population-weighted concentrations. The healthrisk assessment, using the calculated exposure and published exposureeresponse functions for therelevant pollutants, shows decreased health risks in the E85 scenario relative the all-petrol scenario, dueto the decreased NOx exposure, correlated with both preterm deaths and asthma. However, NOx (andNO2) may partly be indicators of unmeasured causal exhaust components in the epidemiological studiesand thus the exposureeresponse functions for these may not be applicable in the present case wherethere is a difference in NOx exposure but not a proportional difference in exposure to other exhaustcomponents normally associated with NOx. Smaller effects are expected from the changes in ozone,acetaldehyde, PM2.5 and benzene exposure. The overall difference is about 1.6 preterm deaths per yearfor the Västra Götaland Region, with lower values for the E85 scenario, when the uncertain differencesdue to the differences in NOx exposure are not considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 82, 1-8 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethanol fuel, Emissions, Air pollution modelling, Health impact assessment
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83535DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.10.002OAI: diva2:668664
Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2014-02-17Bibliographically approved

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Forsberg, Bertil
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