Modeling the Spatial Distribution of Fine Particulate Matter Emissions from Transportation Vehicles

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lisa Aultman-Hall
Funding Agency: NSF

Project Summary

The overall goal of the project is to improve both the measurement tools and modeling technology for PM and PM precursor emissions from on-road light-duty vehicles and to study PM emissions as a function of policy-relevant land use and transportation spatial variables.

The first of three project objectives is to develop a light-duty vehicle (LDV) modal PM emissions model using on-board tailpipe PM data collected under real-world driving conditions over a complete range of traffic operating conditions. The tasks required for this objective included the following:

  1. Assembly and calibration of an on-board instrument package to measure tailpipe emissions of both PM and gases, engine operating parameters, vehicle location, velocity and surrounding road/traffic conditions;
  2. Field measurement of data;
  3. Data reduction; and
  4. Modal PM emissions model development.

Objective #2 makes use of an existing travel route dataset to map the frequency distribution of modal vehicle operation by facility type, land use area, grade and traffic conditions. This objective will be completed in the coming year and be the basis of a engineering student Master’s degree at the University of Vermont.

The final project objective (#3) is to use the data collected in tasks 1 and 2 to focus on transient events to specifically quantify the associated levels of PM emissions as well as to consider the spatial distribution of transient events that may result in PM emission “hot-spots”.