Elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in exhaust particles emitted by light-duty vehicles

The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of particulate matter (PM) emitted by eight different light-duty vehicles. Exhaust samples from petrol and diesel cars (Euro 3 to Euro 5) were collected in a chassis dynamometer facility. To simulate the real-world driving conditions, three ARTEMIS cycles were followed: road, to simulate a fluid traffic flow and urban with hot and cold starts, to simulate driving conditions in cities. Samples were analysed for the water-soluble ions, for the elemental composition and for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), respectively, by ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Nitrate and phosphate were the major water-soluble ions in the exhaust particles emitted from diesel and petrol vehicles, respectively. The amount of material emitted is affected by the vehicle age. For vehicles ?Euro 4, most elements were below the detection limits. Sodium, with emission factors in the ranges 23.5-62.4 and 78.2-227?g km (-1), for petrol and diesel Euro 3 vehicles, respectively, was the major element. The emission factors of metallic elements indicated that diesel vehicles release three to five times more than petrol automobiles. Element emissions under urban cycles are higher than those found for on-road driving, being three or four times higher, for petrol vehicles, and two or three times, for diesel vehicles. The difference between cycles is mainly due to the high emissions for the urban cycle with hot start-up. As registered for elements, most of the PAH emissions for vehicles ?Euro 4 were also below the detection limits. Regardless of the vehicle models or driving cycles, the two- to four-ring PAHs were always dominant. Naphthalene, with emission factors up to 925 ?g km (-1), was always the most abundant PAH. The relative cancer risk associated with naphthalene was estimated to be up to several orders of magnitude higher than any of the chemical species found in the PM phase. The highest PAH emission factors were registered for diesel-powered vehicles. The condition of the vehicle can exert a decisive influence on both element and PAH emissions.

Authors: Alves CA, Barbosa C, Rocha S, Calvo A, Nunes T, Cerqueira M, Pio C, Karanasiou A, Querol X. ;Full Source: Environmental Science & Pollution Research International. 2015 Aug;22(15):11526-42. doi:10.1007/s11356-015-4394-x. Epub 2015 Apr 2. ;