Noise barriers are common configurations along highways. They are originally designed to impede and absorb the noise from vehicles on highways. Recent research has suggested that noise barriers have significant impacts on near-road automobile emissions. Highway noise barriers can make a great difference on the dispersion of air pollutants on and downstream of highway than those with non-barriers features. Certain shaped noise barriers have better performance on reduction noise than others, but the noise barrier shape effects on emission dispersion are still not clear.
In this paper a 3-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been developed to simulate the shape effects on highway downstream and nearby region emission dispersion. The realizable k-ε turbulence model was adopted to simulate the turbulent flow caused by fast moving vehicles on highway. A non-reaction species transport model was applied to simulate emission dispersion. The model was first used to simulate rectangular shaped noise barriers effect on highway emission dispersion. Results were compared with the data from literature, and good agreements were observed. Further, simulations were conducted to reveal the noise barrier shape as well as various height effects on emission dispersion on highway and nearby regions.