Based on the latest Harvard epidemiologic research data (2021), globally 10.2 million people die prematurely only due to traffic-generated emissions per year. For the next decade, the existing vehicle fleet will continue emitting fine particles and ultrafine particles, as well as gaseous toxic compounds such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) until a full transition to zero-exhaust-emission vehicles takes place.
While retrofit filters have been installed for diesel particle emissions in the past 20 years, the worldwide gasoline fleet segment before 2018 currently drives without any filtering technology (EURO 6c and earlier), even with the very high toxicity of gasoline particles. Also, in the EU after 2018 filters are only installed in direct injection engines. In contrast to exhaust emissions, toxic particles from brakes, tyres and rail-wheel contact have not yet been limited by legislation.
These particles – especially in semi-open and closed environments like bus stops, tunnels, and train and metro stations – contribute to poor local air, soil, and water quality, severely impacting human health. To limit these harmful effects, immediate retrofit solutions to reduce emissions through tailpipe and brake wear must be urgently developed and introduced to the market.
AeroSolfd is a fast-track innovation action established to tackle these challenges. The project aims to realise the quick deployment of three low-cost retrofit solutions to allow for a transition towards cleaner urban air.
AeroSolfd will also put special focus on increasing public and political awareness of the harmful impact of tailpipe and brake emissions, and the exposure of fine particles in (semi-)closed spaces on the environment and people’s health. The project will provide policymakers with recommendations on how to develop incentive schemes for the quick market uptake of these retrofit technologies.