Comparison of methods for online measurement of diesel particulate matter

Zhun Liu, Jacob Swanson, David B Kittelson, David Y Pui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Gravimetric analysis is the regulatory method for diesel particulate mass measurement. Because of issues such as adsorption/volatilization artifacts, it faces obstacles in measuring ultra low level emissions from modern diesel engines. Alternative methods of suspended particle mass measurement have been developed that show improvements in time resolution, sensitivity, and accuracy. Three size-resolved methods were considered here. Two methods rely on converting number size distributions obtained using a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS). Conversion techniques were based on effective density measurements and the Lall-Friedlander aggregate model. The third method employs the Universal Nanoparticle Analyzer (UNPA) to measure the aggregate size distribution from which mass is calculated. Results were compared with mass concentrations obtained using gravimetric analysis. The effective density conversion resulted in mass concentrations that were highly correlated (R2 >0.99) with filter mass. The ratios to filter mass concentration were found to be 0.99 ± 0.04, 0.45 ± 0.03, and 0.45 ± 0.19 for the effective density conversion, the Lall-Friedlander conversion, and the UNPA, respectively, for a wide range of engine operating conditions. In addition, the diesel aerosol mass distributions measured by the online techniques are in agreement to within 15-20% with respect to the mass median diameter, while discrepancies were observed in the mass concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6127-6133
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 5 2012


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