research at IENV covers a range of important areas that provide new discoveries
and technological developments, and support the formulation of effective air
quality management strategies.
Characterization of air
Analysis and modeling of air
Air quality and noise management
Air pollution abatement/treatment
Weather and climate
In recent years,
air quality over Hong Kong and the neighboring region has deteriorated to an
unacceptable level, with haze and smog a frequent and visible reminder of this.
The problems faced in Hong Kong are also being repeated all over China and in
other developing nations.
understanding of these environmental issues and the delivery of innovative
solutions have therefore become vital concerns and effective efforts to help
improve air quality will have a direct impact not only on Hong Kong, but
As one of the
core research areas of HKUST's Institute for the Environment (IENV), HKUST
researchers seek to make their contribution to a cleaner world through
significant findings and recommendations that forge change.
IENV is uniquely positioned to accomplish this important task.
Looking across the entire air quality problem, HKUST possesses the most
comprehensive capability within Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta to move
capability includes measurement, chemical and physical analyses, modeling,
control methodologies, impact and policy studies. Collaboration with other
institutions and organizations in areas such as health and policy add
further to the range and breadth of our work.
integrated research approach that maximizes specializations, interdisciplinary
perspectives, and HKUST's first-rate facilities, IENV creates an exciting
opportunity to clear the air. We look forward to taking Hong Kong, the region,
and beyond, into a brighter future.
Some of the innovative areas
being explored by IENV
Characterization, modeling and mitigation of air
pollutants in both outdoor and indoor environments;
studying the sources, the fate, and the health and environmental impacts of air
pollutants via a combination of techniques:
in-situ field and remote-sensing measurements of physical, chemical and
biological properties of air pollutants;
analyses and modeling of their transport and chemical transformation;
controlled experiments for understanding their transformation and impacts;
novel technology for the abatement of air pollutants, noises, and for control
of infectious aerosols; self-cleaning materials for deodorization and
Improved description, understanding and prediction of climate, weather, and the
atmospheric environment of coastal megacities.
Research in the Area
Pinpointing Air Quality
People's attention is captured
most effectively by issues affecting their own neighborhood. However, such
localized information about air quality used to be unavailable in Hong Kong - or
anywhere else. HKUST's cutting-edge Satellite Informatics System has now changed
that. Based on satellite remote-sensing data, faculty members have developed
algorithms to calculate surface particulate matter distribution with resolution
down to 1 km, enabling better air-quality assessments and more informed
UpSNS (Simultaneous deNitrification
and deSulfurization) technology, a simple but effective (95+%) catalytic
reduction process using special rare-earth based catalysts to simultaneously
remove nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide from exhaust gases, represents another
top advance. The catalyst can be readily synthesized with
commercial rare earth oxides. HKUST has obtained four international (including
the US and European) patents for the catalyst synthesis and catalytic reduction
On the Move
MAP is a state-of-the-art mobile
air pollution monitoring platform, developed at HKUST and designed to conduct
continuous measurements while in motion. Benefits include the provision of
high-quality, high-intensity data even in places that are usually hard to
access, such as tunnels and bus depots. It also offers an ideal educational
platform and regularly visits secondary schools in Hong Kong to promote science
education and environmental awareness.
comprehensive expertise and experience in the full range of atmospheric models
at different spatial scales, including weather prediction models MM5/WRF, air
quality model CMAQ, diagnostic model CALMET, street-canynon traffic dispersion
model ADMS and computational fluid dynamics model FLUENT. These models are
needed for better characterization and understanding of the multiscale
interactions amongst different atmospheric processes. With these models, we have
established the first university-based real-time numerical weather prediction
system in Asia in 1997, the Air Pollution Index (API) forecast system for the
Environmental Protection Department in 1999, and a high-resolution wind energy
resource altas for Hong Kong in 2005.