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Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 13;7(1):4926. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03714-9.

Gasoline cars produce more carbonaceous particulate matter than modern filter-equipped diesel cars.

Author information

1
Paul Scherrer Institute, Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, CH-5232, Villigen, Switzerland.
2
NILU-Norwegian Institute for Air Research, PO Box 100, 2027, Kjeller, Norway.
3
Paul Scherrer Institute, Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, CH-5232, Villigen, Switzerland. imad.el-haddad@psi.ch.
4
European Commission Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate, Sustainable Transport Unit, 21027, Ispra, (VA), Italy.
5
Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics, State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, 710061, China.
6
Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LCE, Marseille, France.
7
Central Statistics Office, Cork, Ireland.
8
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA.
9
CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
10
Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
11
Département de Chimie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
12
Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA.
13
Paul Scherrer Institute, Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, CH-5232, Villigen, Switzerland. andre.prevot@psi.ch.

Abstract

Carbonaceous particulate matter (PM), comprising black carbon (BC), primary organic aerosol (POA) and secondary organic aerosol (SOA, from atmospheric aging of precursors), is a highly toxic vehicle exhaust component. Therefore, understanding vehicle pollution requires knowledge of both primary emissions, and how these emissions age in the atmosphere. We provide a systematic examination of carbonaceous PM emissions and parameterisation of SOA formation from modern diesel and gasoline cars at different temperatures (22, -7 °C) during controlled laboratory experiments. Carbonaceous PM emission and SOA formation is markedly higher from gasoline than diesel particle filter (DPF) and catalyst-equipped diesel cars, more so at -7 °C, contrasting with nitrogen oxides (NOX). Higher SOA formation from gasoline cars and primary emission reductions for diesels implies gasoline cars will increasingly dominate vehicular total carbonaceous PM, though older non-DPF-equipped diesels will continue to dominate the primary fraction for some time. Supported by state-of-the-art source apportionment of ambient fossil fuel derived PM, our results show that whether gasoline or diesel cars are more polluting depends on the pollutant in question, i.e. that diesel cars are not necessarily worse polluters than gasoline cars.

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