Berlin Environmental Atlas

03.04 Dusts - Emissions and Pollutions

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Statistical Base


Following an integrated approach to evaluating the causes of pollution of Berlin's air, and in order to contribute to their removal, the Berlin Department of Urban Development and Environmental Protection conducts emissions surveys for the main classes of polluters (industry, domestic fuels, motor-vehicle traffic).

The data of the emissions statements of large individual emitters, such as power stations and heating stations as well as industrial plants, is used in drawing up the emissions survey for industry. These emissions statements are presented to the emissions control authorities by the emitters every two years in accordance with the regulations of the Federal Air Pollution Control Act.

The emissions survey for domestic fuels is a body of statistics calculated for the multitude of small heating systems in the urban area. The heat requirements and the proportions of different forms of heating (e.g. individual coal-fired ovens, shared oil-heating, gas heating systems covering one floor of a building, electric heating and borough heating) are calculated for all residential buildings on the basis of the enclosed area. The emissions are determined for each individual block of houses with the aid of specific emission factors for the different forms of heating. The dust emission factors for oil and gas heating are smaller than those for coal heating by a factor of 100 to 1,000, thus these forms of heating do not contribute to emissions in any significant way. The heat requirements met by electric heating and borough heating are not considered in this context if the heat is generated in licensed power plants.

The emissions survey for transport is based on traffic censuses carried out by the Berlin Department of Transport and also on data on the number of motor vehicles and their average road performance. The emission is calculated with the aid of factors laid down for the various classes of vehicles. Distinctions are made between cars and delivery vehicles with four-stroke engines with and without purification of exhaust gases, those with two-stroke or diesel engines, and heavy vehicles and buses. By far the highest emissions come from heavy vehicles and buses. Consideration is also given to the wear of tires and the evaporation of fuel.

All estimates and calculations are squared with the energy balance in which the city's total consumption of fuels is compiled.

The results of dispersion calculations for floating dust and dust precipitation are not shown in the Environmental Atlas because the emissions registered are not responsible for extensive pollution to any large degree.

Measured Pollutions

Floating dust

In Berlin floating dust was continually monitored in 1991 at 39 stations of the Berlin Air Quality Monitoring Network.

Automatic monitoring devices are in continuous operation and transmit their data to the central computer of the Berlin Air Quality Monitoring Network at three-minute intervals via a fixed connection.

The monitoring devices themselves have a throughput of one cubic meter per hour. Air is drawn in through filters, which are replaced automatically every few hours. Beta radiation of exceedingly low intensity is beamed through the filters. The rays weaken with increasing dust coating and are converted to an analysis signal, from which the dust concentration can be deduced when the devices' air throughput is known.

In addition random samples of floating dust by the reference method were taken by TÜV Berlin/Brandenburg on behalf of the Berlin Department of Urban Development and Environmental Protection (SenStadtUm). Semi-automatic monitoring devices were used, which function as follows. Air is drawn through filters for 24 hours at a time at a rate of about 3 m³/h. Gradually a dust deposit forms. After each sample is taken the filters are dried and weighed. The dust concentration of the air is deduced from the difference in weight and the volume of air drawn through the monitoring device. Once the dust concentration has been recorded, the dust on the filters is examined in terms of its constituents.

Intensive measurements began in 1984 and it was noted that maximum pollution values, as defined by TA-Luft, were frequently exceeded. Thus the monitoring stations in the west of the city were set up along a regular 4 x 4 km grid covering the entire built-up city area right to the outskirts. That was the set-up until 1989. After the changes in the GDR six additional BLUME-stations were established. Significantly higher concentrations of floating dust were recorded in the east of the city and in the meantime maximum pollution values in the west were only exceeded at the inner-city monitoring stations. Thus ten further stations were transfered from west to east by the end of 1993. Following the TA-Luft regulations on pollution measurement and assessment the stations are located, with two exceptions, at least 20 m from the respective pollution source.

At two stations monitoring is carried out under direct traffic influence. One station (14, Charlottenburg) is in immediate proximity to the city autobahn and another (74, Friedrichshain) is located close to the traffic at the intersection Frankfurter Allee/Warschauer Straße.

The forest monitoring station 32 in Grunewald is also operated. Here the floating dust concentration is measured at a height of 4.5 m beneath the crowns of the trees.

Dust constituents

From 1984 to 1988 blanket measurements of dust constituents were made at all floating dust monitoring points. Since the concentrations of both lead and cadmium are so far below the TA-Luft pollution values that there is little danger of them being exceeded, and also because there no acute pollution due to other constituents was recognizable, the number of monitoring points was reduced to a total of twelve, there being six each in the west and the east of the city.

The filters are examined for a total of 17 constituents, a selection of which is given in Maps 03.04.4, 03.04.5 and 03.04.6. The analysis of the represented substances is conducted by means of atomic emission spectrometry (for chromium and lead) and atomic absorption spectrometry (for arsenic, cobalt, cadmium and nickel).

Dust precipitation

In 1991 dust precipitation was recorded at 72 monitoring points, 54 in the west and 18 in the east of the city. Eleven of the sites in the west are in the immediate proximity to the median strip of main roads.

The sampling procedure involves preserving jars being placed about 1.5 m above the ground on stands and being changed every month. In the laboratory the rainwater is evaporated and the residue is weighed and then examined for lead and cadmium. The same methods are used for analyzing the constituents as is used the case of floating dust.

The accumulated material in the jars originates from two main sources, which are represented to widely differing degrees in the pollution. On the one hand there are relatively large particles of 20 µm in size and larger which are whirled up in the vicinity of the containers and drop out of the atmosphere again fairly quickly. On the other hand the rain brings substances which were suspended or dissolved in atmospheric water. These originate largely in the clouds and thus, in part, can have originated from pollution emitters far away. These substances include sulfates and nitrates above all, but also organic compounds formed in the atmosphere through conversion of gaseous emissions.

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