Articles | Volume 17, issue 24
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 15293–15305, 2017
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 15293–15305, 2017

Research article 22 Dec 2017

Research article | 22 Dec 2017

Emission factors of black carbon and co-pollutants from diesel vehicles in Mexico City

Miguel Zavala1, Luisa T. Molina1, Tara I. Yacovitch2, Edward C. Fortner2, Joseph R. Roscioli2, Cody Floerchinger2, Scott C. Herndon2, Charles E. Kolb2, Walter B. Knighton3, Victor Hugo Paramo4, Sergio Zirath4, José Antonio Mejía5, and Aron Jazcilevich6 Miguel Zavala et al.
  • 1Molina Center for Energy and the Environment, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
  • 2Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA 01821, USA
  • 3Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, MT 59717, USA
  • 4Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático, 04530 Mexico City, Mexico
  • 5Environmental & Transport Consultant, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 6Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 Mexico City, Mexico

Abstract. Diesel-powered vehicles are intensively used in urban areas for transporting goods and people but can substantially contribute to high emissions of black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), and other gaseous pollutants. Strategies aimed at controlling mobile emissions sources thus have the potential to improve air quality and help mitigate the impacts of air pollutants on climate, ecosystems, and human health. However, in developing countries there are limited data on the BC and OC emission characteristics of diesel-powered vehicles, and thus there are large uncertainties in the estimation of the emission contributions from these sources. We measured BC, OC, and other inorganic components of fine particulate matter (PM), as well as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ethane, acetylene, benzene, toluene, and C2-benzenes under real-world driving conditions for 20 diesel-powered vehicles encompassing multiple emission level technologies in Mexico City with the chasing technique using the Aerodyne mobile laboratory. Average BC emission factors ranged from 0.41–2.48 g kg−1 of fuel depending on vehicle type. The vehicles were also simultaneously measured using the cross-road remote sensing technique to obtain the emission factors of nitrogen oxide (NO), CO, total hydrocarbons, and fine PM, thus allowing for the intercomparison of the results from the two techniques. There is overall good agreement between the two techniques and both can identify high and low emitters, but substantial differences were found in some of the vehicles, probably due to the ability of the chasing technique to capture a larger diversity of driving conditions in comparison to the remote sensing technique. A comparison of the results with the US EPA MOVES2014b model showed that the model underestimates CO, OC, and selected VOC species, whereas there is better agreement for NOx and BC. Larger OC / BC ratios were found in comparison to ratios measured in California using the same technique, further demonstrating the need for using locally obtained diesel-powered vehicle emission factor database in developing countries in order to reduce the uncertainty in the emissions estimates and to improve the evaluation of the effectiveness of emissions reduction measures.

Short summary
Emission factors of black carbon and other chemically speciated particulate matter and gaseous pollutants were measured in real-world driving conditions for 20 diesel vehicles with multiple emission technologies in Mexico City using a mobile laboratory and a remote sensing technique. The results demonstrated the need to use locally obtained emissions data for diesel vehicles, especially in the developing world, to reduce uncertainty and improve the effectiveness of mitigation measures.
Final-revised paper