Protecting air quality

SUEZ is rising to the challenge of air quality: the Group offers innovative solutions that use new technologies and draw inspiration from nature to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
The issues

Working to improve air quality

Limit emissions of harmful particles
Improve the tools to measure and monitor air quality
Purify the air in urban environments
Our innovations

Gaining a better understanding of air quality, improving monitoring and treatment

SUEZ has formed an “Air Division” working on several new concrete solutions that are operational in the field, and on R&D and innovation, either internally, or in partnership with other players.

Realising what is at stake, the Group is committed to making air quality one of its key areas for research and innovation over the coming years. Over €10 million have already been invested in this area. The results of our initial trials (Pollution & Carbon sinks, AirAdvanced-HypR, etc.) have confirmed the direction we are taking and strengthened our resolve to step up our efforts.

Jean-Marc BoursierGroup SEVP - France Region and COO

The Group is investing in the design, development and operation of innovative air treatment solutions, in France and elsewhere, that will enable industry to reduce its environmental footprint and allow local authorities to improve air quality:
  • Measurement tools to monitor, understand and assess air quality in a target environment (public spaces, industrial plants, 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;
  • Tried and tested treatment solutions such as Pollution & Carbon Sinks.


Photograph credit: ©Abel Oro Figueroa

Our solutions to improve air quality in cities

Solutions to improve air quality in cities - SUEZ

Credit: SUEZ group

“AirAdvanced-HypR”: reducing atmospheric pollution in underground transport

We developed the AirAdvanced-HypR solution in partnership with the RATP, the Paris public transport operator. This innovative system improves the air quality on the Paris railway network by reducing pollution due to fine particles.

Our development is based on the deployment of made-to-measure solutions to treat air movements in urban environments, subway stations, tunnels and even school playgrounds.

Jérôme ArnaudisDirector of the SUEZ Air Division

Improving the quality of the ambient air

AirAdvanced-HypR, which is installed directly on the platforms in underground stations, uses a positive ionisation process to limit the concentration of fine particles (PM 10 and PM 2.5). This electrostatic filtration technology captures the fine particles emitted by the braking systems used on overland and underground trains. A weak electric current is injected into these particles, which are then attracted to collector panels that work like magnets. AirAdvanced-HypR is capable of treating almost 7,500 m3 of air per hour, or 10% of the air in the station, while consuming negligible quantities of energy.

Creating recovery channels for fine particles

These particles are then analysed to see if they can be reused in channels that are still being developed. We also contribute to the measurement of the quality of the air at the inlet and the outlet of the filters, while the RATP and Airparif measure the levels of fine particles present in the stations.

This technology is expected to be deployed for other applications, such as air treatment in car parks or motorway tunnels.


Photograph credit: ©RATP - Bruno Marguerite

For more information:

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. 
Combin Air

Our innovation AirAdvanced-InspiR (photo opposite in a schoolyard in Poissy, Ile-de-France region) captures a large range of air pollutants such as the fine particles, nitrogen dioxide, the volatile organic compounds to purify the air in the most sensitive areas such as schoolyards.

Jérôme ArnaudisDirector of the SUEZ Air Division

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.

For more information:

Watch video:

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.

We recently equipped the 5 harbours of the Balearic Islands in Spain with 150 micro-sensors combined to real time monitoring system.

Jérôme ArnaudisDirection of the SUEZ Air Division

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 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.

In Chile, we have installed these sensors in the Paseo Bandera pedestrian precinct in the heart of Santiago, where we measure the main atmospheric pollutants (PM 2.5, NOx, CO2, VOCs, etc.) to help the local authorities to taken decisions on public policy.

Once the collected data has been analysed using smart technologies, we are able to propose made-to-measure solutions that can effectively combat pollution.