Supporting more than 35 cities across China to monitor and  manage air quality

VITO has been supporting better air quality management in China since preparations began for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  

In 2011, VITO’s daughter company, LiboVITO opened its office in Beijing to assist local Environment  Pollution Control Boards establish air pollution “Monitoring, Early Warning and Emergency Response Systems” which were urgently required across the whole country, in particular for predicting PM episodes.  

Building upon VITO’s OPAQ system, they customised the modelling system for the Chinese cities, who at that time, lacked the knowledge, necessary resources and essential emissions data to ‘quickly’ and efficiently establish such systems.  

OPAQ which uses machine learning and geostatistical interpolation mapping techniques was a welcome alternative to the typical complex systems used which are based on chemical transport models (CTMs).  Since then it has helped 36 cities and 21 counties to provide essential air quality forecast data to warn its citizens of upcoming pollution smog episodes.  

Over the past decade, thanks to the Chinese Clean Air Action, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has significantly decreased across China but surface ozone pollution has worsened.  

Recently LiboVITO has been collaborating with the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre (CNEMC) to assess how OPAQ could complement its forecasting systems in predicting  ozone levels.

OPAQ is a good supplement to the CTM forecasting, especially in the field of ozone forecasting where CTM cannot perform very well

Mr. Chen Shanrong
Director General of CNEMC

The air quality forecast accuracy of OPAQ is much better than the CTM models.OPAQ has played an increasingly important role in our daily air quality management work

Mr. Zhang Liang
Director Air Quality Forecast Department. Hebei Environmental Emergency and Heavy Pollution Weather Warning Center