The Dutch air quality has improved considerably in recent decades. This is due to all kinds of measures on a European, national and regional scale. In the Food Valley region, too, we comply with all kinds of statutory values and air quality standards. However, we also know that even better air quality is better for people’s health. ICR3ATE is participating in a project by the municipality of Ede to gain even more insight into local air quality.
Fine dust is a good indicator when it comes to healthy air. Sources of fine dust are industry, traffic, (private) wood-burning stoves and animal husbandry. Joint efforts are still being made to reduce emissions from these sources.
If we compare our region with other regions, we notice that we are dealing with a higher concentration of PM10 (particulate matter) than elsewhere. This local increase has to do with local sources. An important local source of particulate matter in our region is poultry farming. Due to animal welfare requirements, chickens are able to scratch a lot nowadays. However, this results in an extra amount of particulate matter. This is not good for the inhabitants of the area and the chickens themselves. That is why the poultry farmers, educational and knowledge institutions have been working together with the municipalities in the FoodValley region since 2016 to reduce the emission of particulate matter. Together, they are taking an extra step towards better air quality.
In the municipality of Ede, for example, higher requirements are set for poultry farmers who want to expand. The municipality asks them to take as many measures as possible – if feasible and affordable – to reduce particulate matter emissions. Not only in new houses, but also in existing houses. This has led to a 30% reduction in particulate matter emissions over the past few years.
The municipality would like to have even more insight into the local air quality. With the advent of cheaper sensors for particulate matter, it is now also possible to get more details and insight into trends. This will help the municipality and RIVM to better map the local air quality. Ede would like to experiment with sensors together and discover what you can and cannot do with the data. The kick-off for this was during a theme meeting on 29 January 2019 in Ede.
Roll and contribution of ICR3ATE
We support this project with a number of specific contributions:
- To be a technical contact point for those who have purchased or made their own sensor device and run into technical obstacles
- Manufacturing and delivery of the fine particle devices (up to a possible size of 500 pieces for the Region FoodValley)
- Organizing (co-organizing) construction evenings to create your own ready-made device with construction kit
Before the start of the project, there will be a strong reliance on existing and proven techniques from Luftdaten in Germany.
Specifically, the following techniques are used to measure fine dust:
- NodeMCU (is ESP8266)
- Nova SDS011 High Precision Laser Dust Sensor
- DHT22 for temperature and humidity
- Arduino s/w Open Source
- WLAN / Internet connection for data collection via Luftdaten
- Some mechanical additions for assembling the whole
The FoodValley Region is working on a plan for the idea of its own data hub. This data hub can play a connecting role in combining different Open Data sources. The idea is not only to bring this particulate matter data to the RIVM via Luftdata, but also to create value at a regional level specifically for the Food Valley Region. The project has now started as a Municipality of Ede initiative. But the initiator has the desire to scale it up to a higher Region Food Valley level.
The website Ede-Meet-Mee has been set up especially for this community science project. We also provided the technical/organizational support for that part of the project for the municipality of Ede from ICR3ATE.