The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)

Category:   Education/research
Product/service:   Global Air Pollution, Regional Air Pollution, Local Air Pollution
Key search terms:
  The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Education/research , Global Air Pollution, Regional Air Pollution, Local Air Pollution, Kjeller, Norway, NO, Norway,,


Contact Information
Address:   Instituttveien 18, P.O. Box 100,
    Kjeller N-2027
Phone:   +47 63 89 80 00
Fax:   +47 63 89 80 50
Web site:

Contact person, title:


Customer Service, Customer Service


Brief Summary

Total employee:   -
Total revenue:   -
NILU's Management | NILU's Departments | NILU's Library

What is NILU?

NILU is an independent research institute founded in 1969. It is one of the leading specialized scientific laboratories in Europe dealing with problems related to air pollution on all scales. NILU’s laboratories received accreditation according to EN 45001 in September 1993.

The highly qualified staff of scientists, engineers and technicians are specialized for work with air pollution problems on all scales.

With well equipped and up-to date laboratories for instrumentation and chemical analyses in addition to a scientific staff for theoretical modelling, NILU is prepared to offer investigations of all kinds of air pollution problems.

NILU has long experience in various co-ordination tasks in international research and monitoring activities, such as:

Central Co-ordinating Unit for the OECD-project on "Long Range Transport of Air Pollution" (1972-1977);
Chemical Co-ordinating Centre for EMEP – the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme under the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (1977 – present);
Secretariat functions for Nordic Ministerial Council’s Working Group on Air Pollution (1982 – present), as well as NMR’s climate research programme (1992 – present);
Central data base for EASOE – The European Arctic Strato-spheric Ozone Experiment (1991-1992), for SESAME – Second European Stratospheric Arctic and Mid-latitude Experiment (1993 – present) as well as other EU-projects;
Secretariat for the Eureka EUROCARE project on conservation and restoration of Europe’s cultural heritage (1990-1993).
The laboratory for inorganic analysis performs about 100.000 analyses per year of inorganic compounds in samples of air and precipitation. The laboratory performs analyses of nitrogen and sulphur compounds, cations, anions, trace elements, etc. in samples related to air pollution (precipitation, particles, and gases). The laboratory also takes part in method development to solve specific analysis problems. Specially designed quality control routines are necessary for the low concentration levels at which NILU has to operate.

The organic analysis laboratory performs a large number of analyses of organic compounds in samples of air, precipitation, water and biological material. The compounds may either be highly toxic or occur in small concentrations which can effect the ecological balance. The dioxin laboratory is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and has been approved for such analyses by the WHO. The laboratory has developed and implemented its own methods for analysing toxic organochlorines in air, precipitation and biological samples from the Arctic regions. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are determined in samples from EMEP-stations in Europe.

The instrument laboratory develops and adapts instruments and equipment for sampling or monitoring of air quality. The instrumentation includes storage media, data loggers, technology for transferring data, and software development. NILU’s work includes improving sensors, automatic quality control systems, data transfer and data processing.

NILU has established an automatic alarm system for the monitoring of radioactivity in Norway. NILU cooperates with other institutes to develop improved gas sensors based on spectroscopic measuring techniques and diode lasers.

NILU has been working for more than 20 years on the development and application of models on different scales: Air pollution from streets and roads; Emissions from industry and individual plants; Dispersion and exposure in urban areas; Transport, dispersion and deposition on regional and continental scales; Global problems related to greenhouse gases, stratospheric and tropospheric ozone and persistant pollutants.

Emission surveys constitute an important part of the model work. NILU has prepared such surveys for cities and industrial areas, and calculates emissions of various air pollution components in Europe. The institute also participates in the development of global surveys of emissions to the atmosphere.

NILU is working with several institutes both in Norway and abroad on the effects of air pollution on vegetation and on acidification of land and water. In the national forest monitoring programme, NILU is responsible for air and precipitation measurements.

NILU has developed models for estimating actual exposure of individuals to air pollution. These models have been used in comprehensive studies of the health effects related to pollution from industry and road traffic. Models for indoor air studies have also been established to quantify the impact in different micro-environments. Atmospheric corrosion and the degradation of materials have been important fields for many years. Considerable knowledge has been established to specify the links between air quality, climate and degradation of various types of materials and protection systems.

Since 1990 NILU has managed EUROCARE, an Eureka project fighting the outdoor and indoor decline of our cultural heritage and building stock in Europe. As a result of this project NILU has established a comprehensive network of national and international contacts in this field.

Some examples from the 200 projects that NILU undertakes every year:

Responsibility for the national monitoring programme for the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority in cities and urban areas, acid rain and tropospheric ozone, radioactivity and the ozone layer.

Environmental impact analyses in connection with plans for power plants in Norway.

Urban air quality management and planning in Asia – URBAIR – for the World Bank.

Emission inventory of sulphur air pollutants in Southern Africa – for SADC/ELMS.

Studies of fugitive emissions of hydrocarbons from industrial complexes in Norway and abroad.

Extensive air quality studies in Bilbao for the Basque government.
Environmental investigations and impact analyses for the oil companies relating to oil based activities.

Impact statements in connection with the siting of new industry in Norway and abroad.

The development of an environment surveillance and information system for the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer 1994 (ENSIS).
Monitoring of global stratospheric air pollution, greenhouse gases, ozone and hazardous substances in the Arctic, for the Ministry of the Environment.

Establishment of a monitoring and alarm system for air quality in Kuwait for WHO/UNEP.

Data entry by Liz Song (
First entry on 8/16/1999, last update on 8/16/1999