Pilot project to reduce fine dust pollution along the Stuttgart Neckartor begins with installation of first filter columns

In a pilot project from MANN+HUMMEL, sponsored by the Ministry of Transport in Baden-Wuerttemberg and supported by the state capital Stuttgart, 17 filter columns will be installed along a section of road approximately 350 meters in length along the Stuttgart Neckartor in the coming weeks. Today, the first eight Filter Cubes III will be set up by filtration specialist from Ludwigsburg, MANN+HUMMEL. The pilot project will test whether this technology can be used to reduce fine dust pollution and consequently could reduce the number of days when the emissions at the Neckartor traffic junction exceed the regulatory limit. The city of Stuttgart will set up the air filter columns around the junction and provide the necessary power.

Model calculations, conducted by an independent simulation office on the basis of data from the years 2016 and 2017, have indicated the possibility of reducing the total fine dust pollution along the Stuttgart Neckartor. The theoretical results will now be put to the test in the field.

The air filter columns from MANN+HUMMEL are 3.6 meters high and each consist of three components, the cubes. Equipped with fine dust particle filters and energy-efficient fans, these cubes are able to remove 80% of the fine dust from the surrounding air drawn in with very low energy requirements. A control unit can be used to adjust the operation of the fine dust filters in order to match the respective conditions and therefore react to the current quality of the air. Integrated sensors record air and weather data, which is uploaded to a cloud service and analyzed.

Kai Knickmann, President & General Manager Original Equipment, at MANN+HUMMEL, explains: "We want to use our newly developed Filter Cube to reduce the fine dust pollution at the Stuttgart Neckartor. The Filter Cube is a part of our Fine Dust Eater technology platform which includes different types of filtration technology for vehicles and stationary applications. Wherever there is a particularly high level of fine dust pollution, we want to use our technology to make a contribution to protect people’s health."

Christoph Erdmenger, head of the department for sustainable mobility Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport notes: "We were convinced by the project proposal that 17 filter columns should be installed along a stretch of road and not just in one place in order to be effective. This gives the project the potential to protect local residents. The project also shows that although the state government of Baden-Württemberg is focused on traffic as being the main cause of the fine dust, promising measures are being taken in all areas."

Rainer Kapp, head of the department for urban climatology in Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Wuerttemberg, says: "In 2018, Stuttgart will have the first chance to stay within the yearly allowed limits for particulate matter for the whole city. We have achieved this through many different measures which are starting to take effect, and we plan to keep up our efforts. Our goal continues to be to reduce the concentration of fine dust pollution. Therefore, we are supporting projects which enable cleaner air in Stuttgart. MANN+HUMMEL’s idea to clean the air with the aid of filter columns sounds promising. We now plan to test the effectiveness of the method in a pilot project under real conditions over a longer period of time."

In Stuttgart, it was possible to reduce pollution caused by PM10 particulates and nitrogen dioxide in recent years. As a result, the emission limits for fine dust are now only exceeded at the Neckartor. Nitrogen dioxide, on the other hand, still exceeds the annual average limit, as is the case in many other German cities.

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