EU Science Hub

European guide to identify pollution sources using receptor models

Mar 05 2014

The JRC has published a report containing a guide and a European harmonised protocol for identifying atmospheric pollution sources using receptor models. This reference document has been compiled in collaboration with European networks of experts in the field of air quality modelling (FAIRMODE) and measurements (AQUILA).

The reduction of pollution at its source is one of the overarching principles of the EU’s Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution. Therefore, to implement the EU Air Quality Directives, identification and quantification of source contributions to air pollution, a practice known as source apportionment, is essential. This task can be accomplished using different approaches: source-oriented models, which process information on emissions and meteorology, or receptor-oriented models, which use measurements carried out in a specific site (receptor).

The objective of the report is to disseminate and promote the best available methodologies for source apportionment using receptor models and to harmonise their application across Europe. It includes tutorials, technical recommendations and check lists.

The application of the harmonised protocol is expected to provide authorities involved in air quality management with access to transparent and comparable information that can be used as input data in scenario or cost-benefit analyses. The methodology will contribute to the improvement of the quality and comparability of data reported by Member States to the Commission under the scheme for reciprocal exchange of information and reporting on ambient air quality.