The World Health Organisation estimates that ambient air pollution is responsible for 4.2 million deaths each year; causing heart disease, lung cancer, strokes, and acute and chronic respiratory diseases. This staggering figure highlights the necessity and urgency at which the dangerous levels of air pollution need to be addressed. Considering the transport sector accounts for 26% of the UK’s total greenhouse gases and contributes significantly to the release of primary air pollutants, sustainable innovations working to mitigate environmental impacts within this sector need to be adopted at pace.
Particulate matter (PM) emissions refer to the emissions consisting of particles suspended in the air, which, when inhaled, can cause an array of health issues. PM varies in size and shape and is measured according to the particle diameter size; PM10 (diameter less than 10 micrometres), PM2.5 (less than 2.5 micrometres), and UFP (Ultra Fine Particles, less than 0.1 micrometres). The particle size affects the nature of the particle deposition in the body and the subsequent health issues that can arise. For example, coarse particles are mainly deposited in the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) whereas ultrafine particles penetrate deep into the lungs, posing hazards related to oxidative stress and inflammation.
Whilst it is widely acknowledged that PM emissions can cause a series of health conditions, the vast amount of PM emissions caused by the wearing of brake discs and pads is often overlooked. In fact, brake emissions are the most significant non-exhaust emissions of road vehicles, particularly in areas of high traffic density and braking frequency. Approximately 50% of PM emissions produced by cars are non-exhaust particles, and of the non-exhaust PM, about 50% originate from the brakes. This means that 25% of harmful PM emissions released by cars are due to brake wear!
At Ogab®, we understand the undoubted harm air pollutants can cause to human health and our natural environment, we therefore focussed our research and development efforts to improving the impacts of brake wear. Using our patented active cooling technology, we have created a pioneering sustainable braking system, which successfully reduces the harmful PM emissions released by road vehicles.
Our Sustainable Braking system creates a sealed compartment, enclosing the cooling technology alongside the disk brakes and pads. This compartment effectively captures the particulate matter and environmentally harmful debris released due to braking. Our technology also prevents temperature escalation, allowing brake components to operate at a cooler temperature, and in turn slowing down brake wear. Considering how much energy is required to both produce and recycle brake components, this technology maximises the life cycle of road vehicle brakes, reducing ongoing damage to the environment.
We fully recognise that air pollution damages human health and the natural environment at an alarming rate. This is compounded by the fact that the UK alone still produces 328 billion miles of road traffic annually, with the mass market for road vehicles continually growing year on year. To mitigate the vast damage this is currently causing, we know that improving the sustainability of road vehicles has the potential to create a significant impact.
It is fundamental that the automotive industry embraces sustainable technologies which work to reduce air pollutants, and Ogab® is proud to have created innovations which can be implemented as part of the transport sectors journey to a more sustainable and healthier future.
To learn more about this issue and our Sustainable Braking solution click here.