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Aircraft particulate emissions – School of Engineering

The University’s Gas Turbine Research Centre

The University’s Gas Turbine Research Centre, based at the Welsh Assembly Government’s Engineering Centre for Manufacturing & Materials in Port Talbot, is leading a consortium of world experts in measurement of particulate pollution from aircraft engines. The project is part of a European Aviation Safety Authority funded research programme worth €600,000 and includes the national German aerospace research centre DLR, Rolls-Royce, the French Aerospace research centre and QinetiQ, as well as universities from Manchester and Vienna. The project will be completed at the end of 2010.

The consortium is led by School of Engineering lecturer Dr Richard Marsh, who specialises in aircraft engine combustion and emissions. This project was awarded after the successful completion of a first phase study worth €300,000, also involving experimental tests at the Gas Turbine Research Centre.

The project funders are working closely with other international bodies to enable better understanding and characterisation of fine particulate matter from aircraft engines. The research is crucial to the ongoing debate concerning ground-level pollution around airports such as Heathrow, as well as improving understanding of aircraft-induced contrails and clouds. The former concerns air quality issues and effects on health, while the latter could potentially influences the climate change cycle.

The Gas Turbine Research Centre and partners will be undertaking detailed measurements on the nature and composition of aircraft particulate emissions. These results will be used by the international aviation bodies to compose emissions standards and sampling methodologies for civil aircraft in the future.