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Research

Emissions and atmospheric metrology

Providing traceability and validation for emission and atmospheric measurements and improving confidence in environmental measurements

We develop the measurement tools to address the challenging environmental issues faced today – pollution, air quality and climate change

Pollution is responsible for an estimated 29,000 premature deaths in the UK per year, reductions in lifespan for vulnerable city dwellers of up to nine years and increased health costs of ~£20 billion a year in the UK alone.

Industry, regulators and the research community are working hard to reduce emissions of pollutants, such as SO2, NOx, HCl and particulates. Similar efforts are required to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including CO2 and CH4, in order to avoid a global temperature rise in excess of 2°C which may cause species extinctions, loss of global coastline and increases in mortality due to changes in disease vectors.

Metrology has a crucial role to play in this area. Internationally traceable field measurement techniques and an understanding of their uncertainties are key components in meeting these environmental challenges.

We have extensive experience in delivering products and services to external customers through emission measurement services, field and laboratory validation activities, consultancy services and contract research activities. We have a unique combination of capabilities, covering all the stages – from instrument development, method validation, standardisation and dissemination of best practice, field application of methods, through to the provision of measurements for end users. The knowledge gained from field application for end users then feeds back into the research and development of new techniques and methods.

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Our research

Our research addresses the measurement issues associated with emissions to atmosphere of pollutants and GHGs, and the impact of these emissions in terms of ambient air quality and changes in our atmosphere’s composition.

Atmospheric science

We are bringing metrological assessment of traceability and uncertainty to global atmospheric measurements and reference networks

Environmental sensors

We are developing, validating and calibrating new low-cost sensors to support their use in large-scale networks

Greenhouse gas measurements

We are developing cost-effective GHG monitoring capabilities and services to support source attribution

Industrial emissions

We are meeting new requirements for emissions monitoring by developing measurement methods and standards

Our services

We offer a range of accredited services for monitoring gases and particles. We can provide accredited measurements of emissions from stacks and have a suite of techniques for detecting and measuring fugitive emissions. We can also monitor air quality to ensure it is safe to breathe, in both indoor and outdoor environments. These services are supported by a range of unique laboratory and field capabilities for testing the performance of environmental monitoring techniques.

Our resources

Whether you’re looking for good practice guidance, more information on our research, or our latest publications, we have made a broad range of resources freely available.

Resources

Our team

We have more than 30 researchers working on environmental monitoring research, disseminating best practice and delivering traceable measurements. More than half of the group are involved in delivering measurement services in the field, and our research work is split between lab and field activities
View our team