Berlin Environmental Atlas

03.03 Nitrogen Oxides - Emissions and Pollution (Edition 1997)

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Map Description

Emissions and Calculated Pollution

In the three Maps 03.03.1, 03.03.2 and 03.03.3, the emissions for the primary polluter groups industry, domestic heating and traffic are presented for the year 1994 resp. 1993, each in 1 x 1 km - Grid. The Maps 03.03.4, 03.03.5 and 03.03.6 give respectively the calculated yearly average for pollution concentrations in 1994 resp. 1993 from those main polluter groups.

Industry 1994

The Map 03.03.1 of the industry emissions 1994 shows a very irregular picture. It influenced above all through the twelve power-, heating power- and heating plants, which are distributed throughout the whole city and display relative high emissions. The highest grid value, with more than 2,000 t/km² and year, can be found at the heating power plant Reuter. It still lies at only a third of the 1989 maximum value (c.f. Map 03.03 SenStadtUm 1994b). This change, which is recognizable at the majority of major polluter sites demonstrates significantly the effect of the emission reduction measures shown in Table 2.

Since according to TA-Luft the height of industry smokestack is dependent on how heavy their pollution emission is; the heavier the pollution, the higher the smokestack. Thereby, the pollutants of these plants are discharged at higher elevations and distributed evenly in and over the entire urban area and the surrounding countryside. Therefore increased concentrations in the vicinity of the plants are as a rule neither calculated near, as Map 03.03.4 shows, nor measured, as Map 03.03.8 documents.

However, Map 03.03.4 shows only minimal influence of industrial plants on nitrogen oxide pollution. It shows two flat maximum values between 5 and 6 µg/m³ in the western city center and with respect to the main leeward wind direction at the eastern city perimeter. A value of between 1 and 3 µg/m³ has been calculated for the other areas at the city's edge.

Domestic Heating 1994

The Map 03.03.2 of domestic heating emissions 1994 shows in the inner city area a ring of higher nitrogen oxide values, which lies at a relative minimum in the center of town. The low values in the center are due to the influence of the Grosse Tiergarten and a high share of long-distance heat. The ring of higher values, with maximums of 20 to 30 t/km² and year in Prenzlauer Berg and in the parts of Wilmersdorf resp. in Kreuzberg and Neukölln, is caused through a high share of oil and coal-fueled single- and central heat at very high residential density. With the decrease in residential density, the emissions also decline in the direction of the city edges. The more densely-settled outskirts of the city in direction West (Spandau), North (Tegel), Southeast (Treptow) and Southwest (Zehlendorf) can be recognized by their slightly higher values. The large settlements Märkisches Viertel, Hellersdorf and Marzahn as well as Gropiusstadt do not show up as emission maximums because they are provided with long distance energy (c.f. Maps 08.01 and 08.02 SenStadtUmTech 1996b resp. 1996c). The same distribution, limited to West Berlin, already appeared in the Environmental Atlas of 1985, whereby the single values in the highly polluted areas lay up to 10 t/km² and year higher (c.f. Maps 03.03.2 and 03.03.5 SenStadtUm 1985).

The results of the dispersion calculation in the area of domestic heating (Map 03.03.5) show essentially the same structure as the emission field. The maximum value of 6 µg/m³ is the same as that for the industrial plants and forms a ring around the city center.

Traffic 1993

In the Map 03.03.3 of traffic emissions 1993 the half open city expressway ring and the west-east axis along the Bismarck Strasse - Kaiserdamm in the western part of the city appears most prominently. South of the intersection of the city expressway and the boulevard Bismarck Strasse - Kaiserdamm, in the vicinity of the fairgrounds maximum nitrogen oxide emission levels are up to 150 t/km²·a. Emission levels of more than 100 t/km²·a have also been recorded for the borough Mitte, in the former eastern part of the city. The maximum emission level of 150 t/km²·a is even less than half as high as in 1989 (c.f. Map 03.03.3 SenStadtUm 1994b) in part because of emission reductions resulting from the increased percentage of automobiles with catalytic converters. It is also due to the new grading of car and truck emissions performed for the Federal Environmental Agency on 27 makes of cars and trucks (Umweltbundesamt 1996b). In the case of traffic emission, it is easier to recognize a star-shaped distribution of increased nitrogen oxide levels with the Berlin urban area than with domestic heating emissions. They extend from the city center in every direction following the main traffic arteries. At the northerneast outskirts, the course of the highway Berlin Ring with its access roads and branch to Prenzlau and Stettin can be clearly recognized.

The calculated pollution for traffic (Map 03.03.6) displays emissions in greatly leveled-out form as with domestic heating. A definite maximum of 50 µg/m³ has been calculated for the area east of the western city ring up to Ernst-Reuter-Platz which already lies beyond the maximum emission level.

The pollutant load of the city air is caused not only through emissions in the urban area and in the direct surrounding countryside, but also by a national pollution level, which is caused by a multitude of pollutant sources in Germany and Europe. After the German union the Federal Environmental Agency spread its monitoring network, with whose help these background levels are determined, to the new federal states. In the Berlin region are the stations Kyritz, Neuglobsow and Angermünde northwest an northeast of the city as well as Wiesenburg and Lindenberg southwest and southeast of the city. The yearly averages for 1994 are available as background value for Berlin (c.f. Umweltbundesamt 1996a). These lie between 8 and 14 µg/m³. They correspond to the 10 µg/m³, the measured at 300 m from the Frohnau broadcasting tower. On the basis of these measurements, a national near-ground pollution level for nitrogen oxide of approximately 12 µg/m³ has been calculated for Berlin.

Total Calculated Pollution 1993/94

Map 03.03.7 shows the totals for calculated nitrogen oxide pollution from the three primary polluter groups industry, domestic heating and traffic. These appear in the form of yearly averages for 1994 for places which are not directly influenced by motor vehicle traffic. The maximum pollution load from urban pollutant sources amounts to just about 60 µg/m³ and can be found just a bit southwest of the city center. Due to the emission distribution and the dispersion of the pollutants by the wind, the concentration decreases from the maximum in the main wind direction to the city's edge faster toward the West than toward the East. At the city's edge, a significantly lower pollution load of between 10 and 20 µg/m³ can be found than in the city center.

The causes for the nitrogen oxide pollution can be calculated with sufficient accuracy, if the sum calculated for the polluter groups' concentrations and the national background load conforms to the measuring results.

Given the national background levels, the map of total calculated pollution (c.f. Map 03.03. SenStadtUm 1994b) shows, in contrast to previous years, a close correspondence with the measurements at comparable grid measuring points in the Air Quality Monitoring Network (c.f. Map 03.03.8), if one takes into account that these contain in part local effects of nearby main traffic arteries.

With the help of a dispersion calculation, it is possible to estimate the relative shares from each polluter group toward the pollutant concentration of inner-city residential areas. Table 3 shows as an example the area of the maximum in Charlottenburg.

With this calculation, a high portion of the road traffic-induced nitrogen oxide concentration can even be determined for other areas of the city.

Tab. 3: Calculation of the Road Traffic-induced Share of the Nitrogen Oxide Concentration at the Maximum in Charlottenburg

[Table is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

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