Study of vehicle emissions between Neuquén and Centenario, Argentina

Daniel Gonzalez, Marisa Cogliati

Abstract

Vehicle traffic and its effects on air quality were analyzed on the surroundings of provincial route No. 7 between the cities of Neuquén and Centenario. Concentration levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide were estimated for a period of five years (2005-2009) through regular data of traffic flow, considering average speeds per sector, the characteristics of vehicles in circulation and meteorological data. Calculations were made by applying CALINE, a line source Gaussian dispersion model developed for predicting pollution levels near highways and arterial streets. In the cases analyzed within the area of study, critical concentrations of gases did not exceed the limits established by Argentinean regulations nor current international standards. The results describe the impacts on receptors located near the route in areas that comprise both industrial and agricultural activities. The route analyzed presents high vehicular traffic with more than 14 000 vehicles traveling daily during 2007. Within a five-yr period, daily traffic increased by 12%. The study revealed that the highest concentration of gases occurred during the winter season in morning hours, when vehicles decreased their velocity at a toll area. This situation may have been modified in behalf of air quality due to the removal of the toll station.

Keywords

Vehicle emissions; air quality; mobile sources; CALINE

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