Energy Fuels. 2012 Nov 15;26(11):6737-6748. doi: 10.1021/ef300421h.
Diesel exhaust emissions have been reported for a number of engine operating strategies, after-treatment technologies, and fuels. However, information is limited regarding emissions of many pollutants during idling and when biodiesel fuels are used. This study investigates regulated and unregulated emissions from both light-duty passenger car (1.7 L) and medium-duty (6.4 L) diesel engines at idle and load and compares a biodiesel blend (B20) to conventional ultralow sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. Exhaust aftertreatment devices included a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and a diesel particle filter (DPF). For the 1.7 L engine under load without a DOC, B20 reduced brake-specific emissions of particulate matter (PM), elemental carbon (EC), nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), and most volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared to ULSD; however, formaldehyde brake-specific emissions increased. With a DOC and high load, B20 increased brake-specific emissions of NMHC, nitrogen oxides (NOx), formaldehyde, naphthalene, and several other VOCs. For the 6.4 L engine under load, B20 reduced brake-specific emissions of PM2.5, EC, formaldehyde, and most VOCs; however, NOx brake-specific emissions increased. When idling, the effects of fuel type were different: B20 increased NMHC, PM2.5, EC, formaldehyde, benzene, and other VOC emission rates from both engines, and changes were sometimes large, e.g., PM2.5 increased by 60% for the 6.4 L/2004 calibration engine, and benzene by 40% for the 1.7 L engine with the DOC, possibly reflecting incomplete combustion and unburned fuel. Diesel exhaust emissions depended on the fuel type and engine load (idle versus loaded). The higher emissions found when using B20 are especially important given the recent attention to exposures from idling vehicles and the health significance of PM2.5. The emission profiles demonstrate the effects of fuel type, engine calibration, and emission control system, and they can be used as source profiles for apportionment, inventory, and exposure purposes.