Insights

Monday, 5th November 2018

EIC Towards Purer Air

The Environmental Industries Commission, Imperial College London and Temple have produced a two-part report investigating the latest evidence of the effectiveness of photocatalytic materials and treatments in tackling local air pollution. The study took into account a number of published trials of photocatalytic treatments and includes a modelling analysis of the predicted reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) based on two scenarios in which building/ road surfaces within a street canyon are coated with a photocatalytic treatment.

Temple adopted the same NOx reduction rates derived in the Imperial College London modelling study and applied these to an update of our previous report A clear choice for the UK: Technology options for tackling air pollution (also commissioned by the EIC). We re-assessed the cost benefit analysis for photocatalytic treatments using high, medium and low cost scenarios to provide the range. The mid cost scenario included higher costs than those used in the previous study; however, with factoring in the higher NOx reduction rates, the overall cost per tonne of NOx removed is similar to the conclusions of the previous study.

Based on the report, the EIC makes the following recommendations:

  • “The forthcoming Defra Air Quality Strategy should include an assessment of the potential role of PCTs;
  • Funding from the new Clean Air Fund should be made available for a number of controlled large scale trials in selected high-pollution areas, alongside further investigation into the potential of side-product formation; and
  • The Air Quality Expert Group should release an update to its 2016 report acknowledging the findings of the new analysis by Imperial College London chemists.”

Full EIC press release here.