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Products and services

The final outcomes of the BUMBA project are high resolution exposure maps of NO2 for the Belgian regions. These exposure maps are produced hourly in near real time by an improved and validated RIO-IFDM model chain installed at the IRCEL-CELINE servers and made available through the IRCEL-CELINE website ( The hourly model results are saved in a compressed format to be able to calculate daily, monthly and annual means and exceedance metrics if appropriate. Aggregated results are subsequently used for the assessment and reporting in the IRCEL-CELINE Belgian annual air quality report.

The operational high resolution maps allow IRCEL-CELINE, in accordance with the EU directive 2008/50/EC, to provide the Belgian population, policy makers and relevant health and environmental organisations with optimized exposure estimates to harmful air pollutants at a high resolution. Since it is clearly shown that air quality maps derived at a coarse spatial resolution are underestimating population exposure, these high resolution maps will provide a more realistic view of exposure at different locations, especially in the major cities and in the vicinity of major roads, where steep concentration gradients of local pollutants such as NO2 are commonly found. Informed people and organisations are then able to act according to this information, by taking mitigation measures to reduce their exposure to air pollution, and policy makers will be able to focus on local measures to reduce air pollution.

Next to the operational model chain, also some instantaneous NO2 exposure maps for the three major agglomerations in Belgium, i.e. Antwerp, Brussels and Liège, were derived from the APEX measurement campaign, hereby covering the largest and most heavily polluted cities in the Flemish, Brussels and Walloon regions. Liège, situated in the Meuse river valley, differs from the other two cities by its topology, posing a higher uncertainty on the RIO-IFDM model results. These maps provide an independent view on air quality and exposure over these three cities.

Finally, the optimized NO2 extraction chain was implemented into the APEX operational processing chain at VITO and offered to the user community as a validated, operational end product.