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Lubricating oil and fuel contributions to particulate matter emissions from light-duty gasoline and heavy-duty diesel vehicles.

  • Kleeman, Michael J1
  • Riddle, Sarah G
  • Robert, Michael A
  • Jakober, Chris A
  • 1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, I Shields Avenue, Davis 95616, USA. [email protected]
Published Article
Environmental Science & Technology
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2008
PMID: 18350902


Size-resolved particulate matter emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles (HDDVs) and light-duty gasoline vehicles (LDGVs) operated under realistic driving cycles were analyzed for elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), hopanes, steranes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Measured hopane and sterane size distributions did not match the total carbon size distribution in most cases, suggesting that lubricating oil was not the dominant source of particulate carbon in the vehicle exhaust. A regression analysis using 17alpha(H)-21beta(H)-29-norhopane as a tracer for lubricating oil and benzo[ghi/perylene as a tracer for gasoline showed that gasoline fuel and lubricating oil both make significant contributions to particulate EC and OC emissions from LDGVs. A similar regression analysis performed using 17alpha(H)-21beta(H)-29-norhopane as a tracer for lubricating oil and flouranthene as a tracerfor diesel fuel was able to explain the size distribution of particulate EC and OC emissions from HDDVs. The analysis showed that EC emitted from all HDDVs operated under relatively high load conditions was dominated by diesel fuel contributions with little EC attributed to lubricating oil. Particulate OC emitted from HDDVs was more evenly apportioned between fuel and oil contributions. EC emitted from LDGVs operated underfuel-rich conditions was dominated by gasoline fuel contributions. OC emitted from visibly smoking LDGVs was mostly associated with lubricating oil, but OC emitted from all other categories of LDGVs was dominated by gasoline fuel. The current study clearly illustrates that fuel and lubricating oil make separate and distinct contributions to particulate matter emissions from motor vehicles. These particles should be tracked separately during ambient source apportionment studies since the atmospheric evolution and ultimate health effects of these particles may be different. The source profiles for fuel and lubricating oil contributions to EC and OC emissions derived in this study provide a foundation for future source apportionment calculations.

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