Request for Proposals of Air Pollution Measuring Studies and Solutions
Along the Hamburg-Munich Corridor of the Autobahn

Issued by the German Autobahn Authority Under the Auspices of the
Federal Government of Germany
27 October 1997


German Autobahn Authority Personnel Assigned to this Request for Proposals

Project Director Roxanne Jacoby, P.E.
Environmental Research Michael Sims
Administrator Stephen Tang
Transportation and Pollution Analyst Bingxie Zhang

Table of Contents

Contact Information


Acting under the directive of public law X-117A passed by the Federal Government of Germany, the German Autobahn Authority (GAA) hereby issues this Request for Proposals. Public law X-117A, the Clean Highways Act, authorizes the GAA to undertake an extensive study of the pollution caused by vehicular travel on the Autobahn. Remedial and preventative solutions to the problems of vehicular pollution are also sought. Funding for this project has been authorized for fiscal year 1998 and 1999.



The Federal Republic of Germany is a highly industrialized, densely populated country in the European Union (EU). Population density is estimated to be 239 people per square kilometer. In Germany lies the Autobahn, one of Germany’s most famous and frequented highway systems, is approximately 11,000 kilometers in length. It is the official duty of the GAA to oversee the Autobahn.

Studies of the greenhouse effect have already shown overall climate changes around the world. In addition, German studies indicate that the climate changes from the greenhouse effect will severely impact German ecosystems, specifically in the areas of water resource management, agriculture, and forestry. These three areas have the most direct influence on human living conditions.

Germany is party to a number of international agreements dedicated to controlling air pollution but wishes to go beyond the standards set there to effect a continuing reduction in air pollutants, both gaseous and particulate.

Unfortunately, there have been continuing pollution problems in Germany, despite its long standing tradition of viewing environmental damage as a physical burden or stress to the German people. In its efforts to solve the pollution problem, the Federal Government has identified six key sources of pollution:

Industries generally emit sulfur dioxide gases. In addition to carbon monoxide gases generated by vehicle exhaust systems, much of Germany still uses leaded petrol, and this contributes to lead-based emission pollution.

Because the effects of the greenhouse emissions are not immediately obvious, the Federal Government has begun taking steps in reducing emissions, with great emphasis on carbon dioxide emissions, and developing effective strategies for adaptation in the changing climate. These steps include passing new environmental laws, introducing educational programs, and implementing economic instruments to influence the German population into reducing pollution levels. One of the Federal Government’s aims is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% to 30% by the year 2005, relative to the 1997 emission levels.

Germany has a respectable history of attempts to control pollution levels. Germany’s primary air pollution control law is the Federal Emission Control Act of 1974. This law grants the Federal Government broad enforcement authority concerning most forms of pollution. In 1985, German environmental attention to automobile pollution intensified in 1985 when laws were passed encouraging use of low-pollution engines. Furthermore, catalytic converters were required on all newly produced vehicles in Germany. On Germany’s initiative to do something about pollution, the European Union gradually adopted a variant of Germany’s environmental laws in 1988. Moreover, unleaded petrol was introduced simultaneously, because leaded petrol severely damages catalytic converters. As of 1992, 85% of Germany’s vehicles are employing unleaded petrol. This level is the highest in the European Community. In addition, an extensive retrofitting program has been undertaken for power plants and major polluters, costing over 50 billion marks. Energy conservation is greatly emphasized by the Federal Government. In 1989, Germany used only 1% more energy than was used in 1973.

In 1994, Germany agreed, as part of a second Helsinki sulfur protocol, to reduce its annual sulfur dioxide emissions by 83%, in comparison with the 1980 level, to 1,300 kilotonnes of SO2, by the year 2000. Total 1992 sulfur dioxide emissions in Germany were about 3,900 kilotonnes. This figure represents a decrease of about 48% in comparison with 1980 figures. A major reduction potential exists in plants in the new Federal Laender. Reductions can be achieved through improved combustion systems, greater use of low-sulphur fuels, and installation and retrofits of sulfur removal systems.

Germany is also a participant of the 1988 Sofia Protocol that concerns the limitation of nitrogen oxide emissions. Along with other countries, Germany has agreed to reduce its annual nitrogen oxide emissions by 30%, in comparison with 1986 levels, by 1998. In 1992, Germany's nitrogen oxide emissions were about 2,900 kiltonnes. This is equivalent to a reduction, in comparison with the reference year, of over 17%.

Germany is also trying to comply with the 1991 VOC Protocol concerning the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds. A total of 43% of VOC emissions are caused by traffic. About 40% are caused by solvent use. In the VOC Protocol, Germany has agreed to reduce its VOC emissions (not including methane, CFC and halons) by at least 30%, in comparison with 1988 levels (3,210 kilotonnes), by 1999. By 1992, a reduction of about 13% had been achieved. This was primarily due to the use of catalytic converters in automobiles.

Of particular interest to the GAA is the pollution emitted by vehicles. Two appendices at the end of this request are provided to indicate the vehicular emission situation. Appendix I displays the air emission data for road transport in 1994. Appendix II covers German emission regulations for classifying petrol and diesel passenger cars as either low-Emission or relatively low emission in 1989. In 1991, road transport in Western Germany was responsible for 68% of nitrogen oxides, 52% of hydrocarbons, and 74% of carbon monoxide entering the atmosphere. Vehicle emission levels are of tantamount importance to the GAA, because the Autobahn is one of the most heavily travelled international highways in Europe. Since countries in Europe have varying environmental standards, it is possible that foreign traffic may not adhere to Germany’s vehicle emission tolerance. As such, the Autobahn is exposed to vehicle emission pollution not in our control, and the GAA wishes to establish methods of monitoring such foreign pollution to determine the full extent of the environmental damage.

It should also be noted that Germany has gone through reunification in 1990. Germany now houses vehicles from the former East Germany. In the former East Germany, there were very few regulations concerning the control of pollution levels. Industries in the former East Germany were not subject to environmental constraints and polluted heavily. In their car industries, there were many cars that did not conform to international emission control standards, such as the infamous Trabant. The reunification process has now included such polluting vehicles. Moreover, the democratic atmosphere of the former West Germany has greatly influenced the population of the former East Germany. Because of the new freedoms granted to the former East German population, Germany is now experiencing an significant increase in vehicular usage.

The Federal Government and German industries have been working cooperatively in releasing vehicles that are less polluting. In addition, the Federal Government is encouraging the populace to switch from older vehicles to newer vehicles that adhere to more strict environmental guidelines. The problem at hand is calculating the amount of pollution vehicles have emitted in recent years so that Germany can institute proper measures for reducing pollution levels in that area in the years to come.



For the initial stages of implementation, the GAA would like to install a pollution monitoring system for the length of the Autobahn between Hamburg and Munich. This stretch of road is a 600 km long, heavily traveled corridor that carries civilian, industrial and military traffic. In addition to monitoring particulate and gas pollutants from combustion exhausts, the GAA wishes to determine which types of vehicles are the heaviest polluters and what geographical and atmospheric conditions influence emission pollutants. This information will be used to develop a plan for reducing pollution significantly within the next five years.



Proposals should cover the following criteria that will be used for evaluation by the GAA:



The GAA actively encourages international proposals. The GAA has a small staff of environmental engineers but has not previously implemented a program of this scale. Consequently, the GAA does not have sufficient resources to analyze pollutants.

With all contracts to be entered with the FRG, preference will be given to those proposals that employ mostly German products, German technologies, and a German workforce. In regards to the German workforce, the ÷TV union is currently the second largest of the industrial unions of the Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB) with almost 2 million members. The collective bargaining and pay policies of the ÷TV determines the working and living conditions of several million employees of the public services and of private traffic and transport industry. Every year the ÷TV concludes more than 1000 collective agreements on behalf of its members. By its statutes, the ÷TV organizes the public services, excluding employees of postal companies, teachers and police, and the entire traffic and transport industry, excluding railway workers. This includes employees working in the following areas:

GAA has always maintained a friendly working relationship with the ÷TV union and wishes to continue with such relationship. Therefore, we wish all bidders to be aware this friendship and resolve any conflicts of interest in peaceful and rational manner. GAA will reserve the right to terminate the contract at the expense of contractor should a labor conflict occur.

Preference will also be given to those bidders that have a proven record in performing this type of work. Moreover, solutions that decrease long-term costs, use the most cost-effective technologies, and provide the most accurate data will be sought. Bidders should also have provisions for training a small staff designated by the GAA to administer this project over its lifetime. Bidders should keep in mind, however, that any proprietary technologies must be licensed to the GAA for long-term use. The GAA is prepared to negotiate the terms of licensing.

Because this is a long term project, the bidder who successfully enters a contract with the GAA will have a lucrative agreement. The successful bidder will have access to any German information necessary to complete this project. In addition, the reputation of the successful bidder shall be greatly raised for associating itself with an environmental-friendly endeavor. This, in turn, leads to increased business visibility for the successful bidder. Lastly, the successful bidder will have primary consideration in all future German environmental projects.

The FRG is an equal-opportunity employer.



Proposals must be submitted by November 18, 1997. Besides detailed technical content, proposals should include a detailed budget and a time frame for implementation.


Contact Information

The GAA personnel assigned to this project consists of Michael Sims, Stephen Tang, and Bingxie Zhang. These officials are available to answer any questions you may have concerning this request via e-mail, teleconferencing, or the online conference during the week of November 10, 1997. The e-mail of the assigned GAA officials are as follows:

Michael Sims
Stephen Tang
Bingxie Zhang



Data for the appendices acquired through examining vehicle registration data, conducting representative emissions testing, and extrapolating for the whole country. Data in the appendices is not to be construed as complete and final.


Appendix I

Air Emissions by Road Transportation in Germany (1994)





19,103 534,707 546,976 30,385 3,312,954 106,502 17,200 17,789
Light duty
(< 3.5 tons)
4,470 53,747 33,477 1,537 276,810 10,136 1,800 242
Heavy duty
(> 3.5 tons and buses)
27,447 455,175 63,127 1,953 137,078 41,696 N/A N/A
Moped and
(< 50 cm3)
9 30 9,016 475 27,107 139 N/A N/A
(> 50 cm3)
58 1,920 24,063 1,266 199,284 921 N/A N/A
from vehicles
tire and brake
Total 51,087 1,045,579 676,659 35,616 3,953,233 159,395 19,000 18,061
Percentage to total air emission 1.70% 46.13% 26.73% 0.73% 58.16% 18.23% 8.70% 2.90%


Appendix II

German Emission Regulations for Classifying Petrol and Diesel Passenger Cars as Low-Emission or Relatively Low Emission (1989)

  Low emission according to US norm Low emission according to EC norm
Pollutant FTP-75 unit EC/70/220 unit
HC 0.25 g/km N/A N/A
CO 2.1 g/km 25/30 g/test
NOx 0.62 g/km 3.5 g/test
HO + NOx N/A N/A 6.5/8 g/test
Highway NOx 0.76 g/km N/A N/A


Appendix II (Continued)

German Emission Regulations for Classifying Petrol and Diesel Passenger Cars as Low-Emission or Relatively Low Emission (1989)

  Relatively Low
Stage A
Relatively Low
Stage B
Relatively Low
Stage C
Pollutant EC/70/220 unit EC/70/220 unit EC/70/220 unit
CO N/A N/A N/A N/A 38.25 g/test
NOx 6 g/test -30% N/A 6 g/test
HO + NOx 12.75 g/test N/A N/A 12.75 g/test
Highway NOx 15 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A