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New insights from comprehensive on-road measurements of NOx, NO2 and NH3 from vehicle emission remote sensing in London, UK

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Glyn Rhys-Tyler



In this paper we report the first direct measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the UK using a vehicle emission remote sensing technique. Measurements of NO, NO2 and ammonia (NH3) from almost 70,000 vehicles were made spanning vehicle model years from 1985 to 2012. These measurements were carefully matched with detailed vehicle information data to understand the emission characteristics of a wide range of vehicles in a detailed way. Overall it is found that only petrol fuelled vehicles have shown an appreciable reduction in total NOx emissions over the past 15-20 years. Emissions of NOx from diesel vehicles, including those with after-treatment systems designed to reduce emissions of NOx, have not reduced over the same period of time. It is also evident that the vehicle manufacturer has a strong influence on emissions of NO2 for Euro 4/5 diesel cars and urban buses. Smaller-engined Euro 4/5 diesel cars are also shown to emit less NO2 than larger-engined vehicles. It is shown that NOx emissions from urban buses fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) are comparable to those using Exhaust Gas Recirculation for Euro V vehicles, while reductions in NOx of about 30% are observed for Euro IV and EEV vehicles. However, the emissions of NO2 vary widely dependent on the bus technology used. Almost all the NOx emission from Euro IV buses with SCR is in the form of NO, whereas EEV vehicles (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) emit about 30% of the NOx as NO2. We find similarly low amounts of NO2 from trucks (3.5-12t and >12t). Finally, we show that NH3 emissions are most important for older generation catalyst-equipped petrol vehicles and SCR-equipped buses. The NH3 emissions from petrol cars have decreased by over a factor of three from the vehicles manufactured in the late 1990s compared with those manufactured in 2012. Tables of emission factors are presented for NOx, NO2 and NH3 together with uncertainties to assist the development of new emission inventories. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carslaw DC, Rhys-Tyler G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Atmospheric Environment

Year: 2013

Volume: 81

Pages: 339-347

Print publication date: 01/12/2013

Online publication date: 27/09/2013

Acceptance date: 14/09/2013

Date deposited: 04/11/2014

ISSN (print): 1352-2310

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2844

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.09.026


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