Carbonyl and Nitrogen Dioxide Emissions From Gasoline- and Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicles

Carbonyls can be toxic and highly reactive in the atmosphere. To quantify trends in carbonyl emissions from light-duty (LD) vehicles, measurements were made in a San Francisco Bay area highway tunnel bore containing essentially all LD vehicles during the summers of 1999, 2001, and 2006. The LD vehicle emission factor for formaldehyde, the most abundant carbonyl, did not change between 1999 and 2001, then decreased by 61 7% between 2001 and 2006. This reduction was due to fleet turnover and the removal of MTBE from gasoline. Acetaldehyde emissions decreased by 19 2% between 1999 and 2001 and by the same amount between 2001 and 2006. Absent the increased use of ethanol in gasoline after 2003, acetaldehyde emissions would have further decreased by 2006. Carbonyl emission factors for medium- (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) diesel trucks were measured in 2006 in a separate mixed-traffic bore of the tunnel. Emission factors for diesel trucks were higher than those for LD vehicles for all reported carbonyls. Diesel engine exhaust dominates over gasoline engines as a direct source of carbonyl emissions in California. Carbonyl concentrations were also measured in liquid-gasoline samples and were found to be low (<20 ppm). The gasoline brands that contained ethanol showed higher concentrations of acetaldehyde in unburned fuel versus gasoline that was formulated without ethanol. Measurements of NO2 showed a yearly rate of decrease for LD vehicle emissions similar to that of total NOx in this study. The observed NO2/NOx ratio was 1.2 0.3% and 3.7 0.3% for LD vehicles and diesel trucks, respectively. (A)

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  • Authors:
    • BAN-WEISS, G A
    • HARLEY, R A
  • Publication Date: 2008-6-1


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01104716
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2008 1:12PM