Nature of sub-23-nm particles downstream of the European particle measurement programme (PMP)-compliant system: A real-time data perspective

Zhongqing Zheng, Thomas D. Durbin, Georgios Karavalakis, Kent C. Johnson, Ajay Chaudhary, David R. Cocker, Jorn D. Herner, William H. Robertson, Tao Huai, Alberto Ayala, David B. Kittelson, Heejung S. Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study provides an evaluation of the nature of sub-23-nm particles downstream of the European Particulate Measurement Programme (PMP) methodology, with prescribed cycles and on-road flow-of-traffic driving conditions. Particle number concentrations and size distributions were measured using two PMP measurement systems running simultaneously. For this analysis, the focus is on the real-time results from multiple instruments. The results revealed that a significant fraction of particles downstream of both PMP systems for all tested cycles were below 11 nm. The fraction of sub-11-nm particles observed downstream of the PMP system decreased when the overall dilution ratio of one PMP system was increased from 300 to 1500, suggesting those sub-11-nm particles were formed through re-nucleation of semivolatile precursors. When the evaporation tube temperature was increased from 300°C to 500°C, no difference in particle number concentrations was observed, suggesting that incomplete evaporation of semivolatile particles did not contribute to those sub-11-nm particles. Particle emissions were about one order of magnitude higher during flow-of-traffic driving along a highway with a steep grade than during the prescribed driving cycles. During the same flow-of-traffic condition, a sudden jump in PMP operationally defined solid particle concentration was observed, while the accumulation mode particle concentrations in the constant volume sampling (CVS) tunnel measured by an engine exhaust particle sizer (EEPS) only showed a slight increase. This discrepancy was attributed to the extensive growth of the re-nucleated particles downstream of the PMP systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-896
Number of pages11
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Nature of sub-23-nm particles downstream of the European particle measurement programme (PMP)-compliant system: A real-time data perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this