Organic PM Emissions from Vehicles: Composition, O/C Ratio, and Dependence on PM Concentration

A suite of real-time instruments was used to sample vehicle emissions at the California Air Resources Board Haagen-Smit facility. Eight on-road, spark-ignition gasoline and three alternative vehicles were tested on a chassis dynamometer and the emissions were diluted to atmospherically relevant concentrations (0.5–30 μg/m3). An Aerodyne high resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-MS) characterized the real-time behavior of the nonrefractory organic and inorganic particulate matter (PM) in vehicle emissions. It was found that the emission of particulate organic matter (POM) was strongly affected by engine temperature and engine load and that the emission concentrations could vary significantly by vehicle. Despite the small sample size, consistent trends in chemical characteristics were observed. The composition of vehicle POM was found to be related to overall PM mass concentration where the oxygen-to-carbon (O/C) ratio tended to increase at lower concentration and had an average value of 0.057 ± 0.047, with a range from 0.022 to 0.15. The corresponding fraction of particle-phase CO2+, or f44, ranged from 1.1% to 8.6% (average = 2.1%) and exhibited a linear variation with O/C. The average mass spectrum from all vehicles tested was also compared to those of hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) observed in ambient air and the agreement is very high. The results of these tests offer the vehicle emissions community a first glimpse at the real-time chemical composition and variation of vehicle PM emissions for a variety of conditions and vehicle types at atmospherically relevant conditions and without chemical interferences from other primary or secondary aerosol sources.

Copyright 2015 American Association for Aerosol Research