After recovering in 2018 the Elche air pollution measurement project after a ten-year vacuum, the Miguel Hernández University (UMH), thanks to the agreement it has with the City Council, has launched a new campaign to measure nitrogen dioxide and tropospheric ozone. For this, the UMH researchers 51 double devices were installed yesterday in the urban nucleus and the surroundings of Elche which will determine the concentration of these gases and will make it possible to identify the most polluted areas of the city. The great novelty of the new campaign is that it will make it possible to study the impact that the pedestrianization of the Corredora and Plaça de Baix have had on air quality.
The UMH Atmospheric Pollution Laboratory is responsible for the project. The sampling devices that he installed yesterday are passive sensors, which have been placed on lampposts and posts that are near traffic control loops that are used to know how many cars are circulating on a certain point on urban roads.
Among other virtues of the pedestrianization of the center, the bipartisan has defended its impact on reducing pollution in Elche. According to the data released on previous occasions by the mayor of Sustainable Mobility, Esther Díez, having removed the traffic from the Corridor means a ton less of pollutants per day. The municipal spokesperson for Compromís has also repeatedly emphasized the commitment of her council to limit the use of private vehicles, since, according to the data managed by the City Council, they generate 80% of the pollution in the municipality.
Through the 51 collectors that the UMH laboratory installed yesterday, the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and ozone present in the air will be evaluated. In this way, the concentration of polluting gases can be associated with vehicle traffic and the relationship of both with the urban fabric can be established. To compare these measures with the results of previous campaigns, the devices have been placed in the same places.
The results of the study that the University and the City Council launched in 2018 indicated that the triangle formed by Avenida de la Libertad and the Valencian Country and Calle Reina Victoria represent the main axis of pollution in Elche. The UMH also warned in its report that traffic emissions are increasing due to the increase in private vehicles and goods, which led the bipartisan to launch a new mobility plan to reduce private transport.
The collectors installed yesterday will later be taken to the university laboratory for the chemical analyzes to be carried out to obtain the contamination data. These parameters will make it possible to generate a map in which the areas with the highest concentration of harmful gases are appreciated.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.