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National Environment Agency Singapore seeking solutions for real-time monitoring of emissions from diesel vehicles and industrial odours

The National Environment Agency of Singapore (NEA) is seeking technological solutions for remote real-time monitoring of emissions, in order to assess effectiveness of pollution control measures and implement new control policies/measures.

It has issued the call through the Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI), an agency under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, which connects Singapore-based organisations with solution providers.

The call is targeted at Singapore-registered companies, as well as institutes of higher learning and research institutes based in Singapore. The stated preferred business model is R&D Collaboration. A technical briefing will be held on 19 Oct 2017.

Monitoring of NOx and PM emissions from diesel vehicles

The first solution NEA is looking for is a remote, real-time and low-cost sensor-based system for the monitoring of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions from diesel vehicles.

Diesel vehicles are a significant source of NOx and PM emissions into the ambient air. These pollutants have negative impacts on people’s health and the environment. Studies have shown that real-world emissions of pollutants, mainly NOx and particulates, from in-use vehicles are much higher than the levels measured during the lab emission tests.

The system must provide accurate real-time measurements of NOx and PM emissions and use data analytic tools to generate reports of pollutant emissions from individual vehicles and cumulative emissions, including particulars of vehicles emitting excessive NOx and PM (vehicle registration number, location, date and time).

Emissions data in the system can be made accessible by mobile devices via apps for fleet operators/owners to monitor performance of their vehicles and carry out prompt maintenance, if necessary.

Sensors and on-board data loggers-cum-transmitters must be affordable for vehicle fleet operators/owners to install and replace, if defective. They must be robust, reliable and maintenance free during their service lives, must not affect the normal operation/performance of the vehicles and must comply with LTA’s (Land Transport Authority) requirements. In addition, they must be tamper-proof and trigger alerts when tampered with (e.g. upon attempts to remove the sensors).

Between ten to thirty diesel vehicles (e.g. bus, light goods vehicles, heavy vehicles, taxis) retrofitted with the proposed solution monitoring of NOx and PM will be tested for at least three months on public roads.

Odour monitoring and tracing of sources of odour incidents caused by industries

Undesirable odours contribute to air quality concerns and affects the quality of living. Due to human ability to detect odorants in very small concentrations, otherwise insignificant and unhazardous air pollution sources may give rise to feedback from the public. Investigation of odour nuisance feedback aims to identify the chemicals contributing to the odours and identify the air pollution source(s) causing the odours. There is however a lack of suitable odour detection and analysis instruments for field monitoring. It is also highly challenging to trace the source of the odours from the feedback location which is potentially influenced by multiple emission sources from different types of industries.

Hence, the NEA is seeking scalable solutions for detecting and monitoring odours, characterising the chemicals contributing to the odours, and identifying the sources of the odours. A given solution shall be applicable for odours arising from different industrial types.

The sensing devices shall be in-situ devices which can be used in a network for near-real-time monitoring of odour source and receptor areas. The solution may also include sensing devices that can be handheld by NEA officers or mounted on vehicles for field investigation.

The solution should transmit in near-real-time the odour concentration and alert NEA of a potential odour incident, whenever the measurement exceeds a pre-set threshold. It shall also be able to identify the chemical components (which are likely to be present in very low concentrations) of the odours, as well as enable officers to trace the odours to its source.

The system should identify – or help to identify – the source(s) of a given odour emission, potentially by means of real-time, grid-based sensing that enables the triangulation of the odour emission source(s).

The sensors should require minimal maintenance and calibration, ideally no more than once quarterly.

The system will be trialled at Jurong West residential estate with nearby Jurong industrial area (odour potential industries include flavours and fragrances manufacturing, cocoa company, oil refinery, and factories using solvents and chemicals) for a period of at least 8 months.

Featured image: Jacklee/ CC BY-SA 3.0

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