91% of the world's population lives in areas where air quality exceeds the limits set by the WHO, and these exceedances are found in many megacities around the world. SUEZ works with cities and industries to improve outdoor air quality through innovative solutions inspired by nature.
Gaining a better understanding of air quality, improving monitoring and treatment
The Group is investing in the design, development and operation of innovative air treatment solutions, in France and elsewhere, that will enable local authorities to improve air quality:
Measurement tools to monitor, understand and assess air quality in a target environment (public spaces, school playgrounds, etc.);
Trials in environments that are sensitive/prone to air pollution such as underground stations or areas in proximity to heavy traffic, so that users will be able to breathe healthier air;
Treatment solutions inspired by nature, based on cutting-edge technologies.
Solutions to improve air quality in cities - SUEZ
Credit: SUEZ group
Understanding and diagnosing air quality in real time
We are helping the local authorities and industry to deploy smart services, such as high-tech micro-sensors that are integrated into a digital platform, so that our customers can take operational decisions in view of their impact on air quality.
These high-tech micro-sensors produce different types of very reliable data on air quality, such as the concentration of different gases in the air, the temperature, wind strength, etc., that can be sent at frequencies as high as every 5 minutes. This data is then recorded on our digital platform, converted into validated information and analysed in order to produce backward-looking expectations, to make forecasts or to model episodes of pollution, and to take the appropriate decisions.in terms of the impact on air quality.
Air quality in harbours can be a major concern. Marine traffic generates a lot of air pollution. We recently equipped the 5 harbours of the Balearic Islands in Spain with 150 micro-sensors combined to real time monitoring system. The aim is to better understand the air pollution contributors in order to prioritise the remediation actions.
Capture air pollutants in urban areas with innovations inspired by nature
Our solutions combine several best-in-class technologies, including one using micro-algae co-designed with the French company Fermentalg, to capture atmospheric pollutants such as fine particles or nitrogen dioxide.
Based on the principle of photosynthesis, microalgae are cultivated in a water column and fix CO2 and other air pollutants such as fine particles or nitrogen dioxide. This innovation, initially called “Pollution & Carbon Sink”, has been tested on the INERIS test bench, which is unique in Europe, and showed reductions in the levels of fine particles of between about 66% and 99%, and of 76% to 97% of nitrogen dioxide, depending on the configuration. This is equivalent to the annual emissions from 150 cars in the Paris region.
We inaugurated in a schoolyard in the Paris region a new air treatment system called AirAdvanced-InspiR. Children are more exposed than adults to pollution and spend a lot of time at school. Our innovation combines best-in-class technologies with microalgae to create "bubbles of pur air" in the most sensitive areas.
AirAdvanced-InspiR absorbs fine particles, nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds, capturing the equivalent of what between 300 and 500 vehicles produce on an average Paris Region trip.
Producing green energy
By capturing the carbon present in the atmosphere, the algae reproduce and form a biomass that flows directly into the sewerage network to the purification plant. This biomass is then collected and recovered as biomethane that is injected into the gas mains to produce local and renewable energy.
Solution for air treatment in schools - SUEZ
Credit: SUEZ group
Educational guide for parents and teachers
We propose to parents and teachers to get the children to imagine their ideal place to live, where the air would be of good quality. Through an artistic activity, the children will be able to think about sources of pollution and how to eliminate or reduce them.