Separation of fine particulate matter emitted from gasoline and diesel vehicles using chemical mass balancing techniques

M. P. Fraser, B. Buzcu, Z. W. Yue, G. R. McGaughey, N. R. Desai, D. T. Allen, R. L. Seila, W. A. Lonneman, R. A. Harley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Samples of fine particulate matter were collected in a roadway tunnel near Houston, TX over a period of 4 days during two separate sampling periods: one sampling period from 1200 to 1400 local time and another sampling period from 1600 to 1800 local time. During the two sampling periods, the tunnel traffic contained roughly equivalent numbers of heavy-duty diesel trucks. However, during the late afternoon sampling period, the tunnel contained twice as many light-duty gasoline-powered vehicles. The effect of this shift in the vehicle fleet affects the overall emission index (grams pollutant emitted per kilogram carbon in fuel) for fine particles and fine particulate elemental carbon. Additionally, this shift in the fraction of diesel vehicles in the tunnel is used to determine if the chemical mass balancing techniques used to track emissions from gasoline-powered and diesel-powered emissions accurately separates these two emission categories. The results show that the chemical mass balancing calculations apportion roughly equal amounts of the particulate matter measured to diesel vehicles between the two periods and attribute almost twice as much particulate matter in the late afternoon sampling period to gasoline vehicles. Both of these results are consistent with the traffic volume of gasoline and diesel vehicles in the tunnel in the two separate periods and validate the ability for chemical mass balancing techniques to separate these two primary sources of fine particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3904-3909
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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