Changes in Motor Vehicle Emissions on Diurnal to Decadal Time Scales and Effects on Atmospheric Composition

Citation:
Harley, RA, Marr LC, Lehner JK, Giddings SN.  2005.  Changes in Motor Vehicle Emissions on Diurnal to Decadal Time Scales and Effects on Atmospheric Composition. Environmental science & technology. 39(14):5356-5362.: American Chemical Society

Date Published:

2005

Abstract:

Emissions from gasoline and diesel engines vary on time scales including diurnal, weekly, and decadal. Temporal patterns differ for these two engine types that are used predominantly for passenger travel and goods movement, respectively. Rapid growth in diesel fuel use and decreasing NOx emission rates from gasoline engines have led to altered emission profiles. During the 1990s, on-road use of diesel fuel grew 3 times faster than gasoline. Over the same time period, the NOx emission rate from gasoline engines in California was reduced by a factor of ?2, while the NOx emission rate from diesel engines decreased only slightly. Diesel engines therefore grew in both relative and absolute terms as a source of NOx, accounting for about half of all on-road NOx emissions as of 2000. Diesel truck emissions decrease by 60?80% on weekends. Counterintuitive responses to these emission changes are seen in measured concentrations of ozone. In contrast, elemental carbon (EC) concentrations decrease on weekends as expected. Weekly and diurnal patterns in diesel truck activity contribute to variability in the ratio of organic carbon (OC) to EC in primary source emissions, and this could be a source of bias in assessments of the importance of secondary organic aerosol.; Emissions from gasoline and diesel engines vary on time scales including diurnal, weekly, and decadal. Temporal patterns differ for these two engine types that are used predominantly for passenger travel and goods movement, respectively. Rapid growth in diesel fuel use and decreasing NOx emission rates from gasoline engines have led to altered emission profiles. During the 1990s, on-road use of diesel fuel grew 3 times faster than gasoline. Over the same time period, the NOx emission rate from gasoline engines in California was reduced by a factor of ?2, while the NOx emission rate from diesel engines decreased only slightly. Diesel engines therefore grew in both relative and absolute terms as a source of NOx, accounting for about half of all on-road NOx emissions as of 2000. Diesel truck emissions decrease by 60?80% on weekends. Counterintuitive responses to these emission changes are seen in measured concentrations of ozone. In contrast, elemental carbon (EC) concentrations decrease on weekends as expected. Weekly and diurnal patterns in diesel truck activity contribute to variability in the ratio of organic carbon (OC) to EC in primary source emissions, and this could be a source of bias in assessments of the importance of secondary organic aerosol.

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DOI:

10.1021/es048172+