As urban centers grow and sprawl increases, air quality continues to become an ever more pervasive concern for local governments. Poor air quality poses significant health risks to communities. Higher rates of asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and other respiratory problems have been associated with poor air quality in multiple studies. There are many methods that can be taken to improve air quality, such as choosing alternative transportation methods or composting leaves, clippings and branches instead of burning. Trucks, cars and other on-road equipment are a major contributing factor to air quality emissions. The advantages of using alternative fuels can be substantial. Most alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) produce lower tailpipe emissions of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants that cause air pollution and adverse public health effects.

Alternative Fuels for Air Quality (AFAQ) Tool

Metropolitan Energy Center, with multiple partner organizations, developed the Alternative Fuels for Air Quality (AFAQ) Tool, a valuable assessment tool for local governments and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) that are looking for new ways to address ambient air quality or would like to quantify the effects of alternative fuels

About This Tool:

  • The Excel workbook contains six sheets: Main Interface, Read Me, Calculated Inputs, Baseline Fleet Emission Factors & Activity, Reduction Factors, and Net Emissions.
  • Main Interface: On this sheet the user will be able to input a variety of different alternative fuel vehicle penetration scenarios. See Read Me tab for helpful information before beginning.
  • Read Me: Here the user will find helpful advice on how to input different scenarios into the tool. The Read Me sheet also contains useful information about MAC as well as links to more information.
  • Calculated Inputs: Extrapolates inputs from Main Interface, calculated with Baseline Fleet EF and Activity and Reduction Factors.
  • Baseline Fleet Emission Factors & Activity: MPOs and local government agencies should run MOVES with its own regional data, replacing the emission factors and vehicle miles activity in this tab, to get customized results.  The data that appear by default in the AFAQ are from the St. Louis metro pilot study. The tool may be run using the St. Louis baseline emission factors, if desired, to see how different AFV penetrations in each vehicle category affect the results.
  • Reduction Factors: Emission reduction factors developed during the initial study are universal information that should not be changed.  These factors are used to calculate detailed scenario emissions, which can be viewed on the Calculated Inputs tab.
  • Net Emissions: These net emissions figures are calculated from the user-inputs on the Main Interface.  The Results are used to calculate a summary emissions table on
    the Main Interface tab.

Alternative Fuels for Air Quality Report

The Alternative Fuels for Air Quality Tool was first tested in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The results from the pilot can be found in the Alternative Fuels for Air Quality Report.