Effective density and volatility of particles sampled from a helicopter gas turbine engine

Jason S. Olfert, Matthew Dickau, Ali Momenimovahed, Meghdad Saffaripour, Kevin Thomson, Greg Smallwood, Marc E.J. Stettler, Adam Boies, Yura Sevcenco, Andrew Crayford, Mark Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The effective density and size-resolved volatility of particles emitted from a Rolls-Royce Gnome helicopter turboshaft engine are measured at two engine speed settings (13,000 and 22,000 RPM). The effective density of denuded and undenuded particles was measured. The denuded effective densities are similar to the effective densities of particles from a gas turbine with a double annular combustor as well as a wide variety of internal combustion engines. The denuded effective density measurements were also used to estimate the size and number of primary particles in the soot aggregates. The primary particle size estimates show that the primary particle size was smaller at lower engine speed (in agreement with transmission electron microscopy analysis). As a demonstration, the size-resolved volatility of particles emitted from the engine is measured with a system consisting of a differential mobility analyzer, centrifugal particle mass analyzer, condensation particle counter, and catalytic stripper. This system determines the number distributions of particles that contain or do not contain non-volatile material, and the mass distributions of non-volatile material, volatile material condensed onto the surface of non-volatile particles, and volatile material forming independent particles (e.g., nucleated volatile material). It was found that the particulate at 13,000 RPM contained a measurable fraction of purely volatile material with diameters below ∼25 nm and had a higher mass fraction of volatile material condensed on the surface of the soot (6%–12%) compared to the 22,000 RPM condition (1%–5%). This study demonstrates the potential to quantify the distribution of volatile particulate matter and gives additional information to characterize sampling effects with regulatory measurement procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-714
Number of pages11
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Association for Aerosol Research.

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