Power and renewables

STACKS+ atmospheric dispersion model

Emission dispersion modelling

The STACKS+ atmospheric dispersion model provides accurate calculations of air pollution from industrial activities, road and air traffic in a friendly GUI with GIS functionality.

STACKS+ is an advanced atmospheric dispersion model for calculating the impact of industries, road traffic and cattle farms on the local air quality (up to 25km). It is particularly useful for licensing processes for industries and infrastructural projects such as environmental compliance with WHO, EU and national standards.

Originally developed as a regulatory dispersion model for the Netherlands, the STACKS+ model is now also available  for Poland, Spain, the Baltics, Caribbean, Germany, Turkey, China, and Qatar. It can also be adapted for use in other countries.


  • Calculate the air quality consequences of industrial activities, road traffic and cattle farms
  • Industrial sources and road traffic in one model
  • Gain insight into which sources are major and minor polluters
  • Target mitigation measures and investments where they will do most good
  • Avoid unnecessary purchase of expensive measurement equipment
  • Minimise risk of License to Operate being rejected

The STACKS+ model was developed by DNV GL, and is now integrated into the Geomilieu software package available via license from DGRM . The Geomilieu package allows you to see results from STACKS+ presented in a user-friendly, multi-model graphical interface with GIS functionality.

It supports:

  • fast learning, even with infrequent use
  • GIS and CAD like 2D and 3D editing options
  • powerful import and export options for GIS and CAD data
  • fast calculations through advanced distributed calculation technology
  • integration with noise modules within a single platform.

The STACKS+ model can also be used for air quality and nitrogen deposition calculations for shipping and air traffic. Currently, this is not available via the Geomilieu software, but can be provided via our emissions modelling services .

Technical details
The STACKS+ model is a Gaussian dispersion model based on rational physical and chemical formulae that simulate the situation from hour to hour, over a long period (e.g. 10 years).

It converts the data on emissions into concentration levels and deposition quantities, and is used extensively to calculate:

  • NO2 and fine particulate (PM10, PM2.5, elementary carbon) concentrations along traffic routes for testing against air quality thresholds
  • emissions of NO2, PM10 and many other pollutants from industrial activities (including power plants) as required for environmental permits
  • hourly and instantaneous odour concentrations (expressed as percentile values) for assessment of local nuisance
  • the impact of emission control measures and strategies
  • nitrogen deposition (NOx and NH3) and acid deposition in nature reserves due to emissions from road traffic, industry and agriculture calculated with the prescribed model AERIUS

The STACKS+ model is integrated into the Geomilieu software package from DGRM.

You can find more general information on DGMR software and Geomilieu here.

In Geomilieu, there are three STACKS+ modules:

  • STACKS module for air quality calculations
  • STACKS-D module for (nitrogen)deposition calculations
  • STACKS-G module for odour calculations

The STACKS+ model is successfully validated with many datasets:

  • Recommended datasets of the European harmonisation initiative
  • Power plants datasets from The Netherlands, Germany and Poland (lidar, equipped van and aircraft)
  • Measurement stations of the national monitoring network in The Netherlands
  • Tracer experiments of passive release from 100 m sources (meteorological tower).

Contact us:

William Fleuren

William Fleuren

Principal Consultant

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