Relationship between particle mass and mobility for diesel exhaust particles

Kihong Park, Feng Cao, David B Kittelson, Peter H McMurry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

444 Scopus citations


We used the aerosol particle mass analyzer (APM) to measure the mass of mobility-classified diesel exhaust particles. This information enabled us to determine the effective density and fractal dimension of diesel particles as a function of engine load. We found that the effective density decreases as particle size increases. TEM images showed that this occurs because particles become more highly agglomerated as size increases. Effective density and fractal dimension increased somewhat as engine load decreased. TEM images suggest that this occurs because these particles contain more condensed fuel and/or lubricating oil. Also, we observed higher effective densities when high-sulfur EPA fuel (∼360 ppm S) was used than for Fischer-Tropsch fuel ∼0 ppm S). In addition, the effective density provides the relationship between mobility and aerodynamic equivalent diameters. The relationship between these diameters enables us to intercompare, in terms of a common measure of size, mass distributions measured with the scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and a MOUDI impactor without making any assumptions about particle shape or density. We show that mass distributions of diesel particles measured with the SMPS-APM are in good agreement with distributions measured with a MOUDI and a nano-MOUDI for particles larger than ∼60 nm. However, significantly more mass and greater variation were observed by the nano-MOUDI for particles smaller than 40 nm than bythe SMPS-APM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


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