Exhaust emissions from a prototype non-road natural gas engine

Petteri Marjanen, Niina Kuittinen, Panu Karjalainen, Sanna Saarikoski, Mårten Westerholm, Rasmus Pettinen, Minna Aurela, Henna Lintusaari, Pauli Simonen, Lassi Markkula, Joni Kalliokoski, Hugo Wihersaari, Hilkka Timonen, Topi Rönkkö

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Since gas engines are considered a future solution to improve air quality and to mitigate climate impacts, there is an urgent need to understand their emissions. The aim for this study was to understand the phenomena affecting the formation of particulate emissions of a non-road natural gas engine. To achieve this, the engine's exhaust emissions were characterized under different operating conditions. The regulated pollutants (gaseous CO, HC, and NOx; particulate matter (PM) and particle number (PN)) were determined experimentally and a detailed characterization of particulate pollutants over a wide particle size range (particles down to 1.2 nm) was conducted with state-of-the-art instrumentation considering both physical and chemical properties of the exhaust aerosol. The test engine was a prototype non-road spark-ignited natural gas engine, which was studied over the non-road steady test cycle (NRSC). The role of the three-way catalyst (TWC) was studied by sampling and characterizing the exhaust aerosol both with and without the TWC. The TWC was observed to efficiently remove the vast majority of the regulated gaseous (96% CO, 98% HC, 98% NOx) and particulate mass emissions (98%). In general, the measured particle number emission factors were highly dependent on the cut-off sizes of the condensation particle counters. Using CPCs with smaller cut-off sizes resulted in higher particle number emission factors. For black carbon (BC), the intermediate engine speed conditions (modes 5–7) led to lower BC emissions than the high speed conditions (modes 1–3). In contrast, highest BC emissions on a work basis were observed during idling. TWC did not influence BC levels. Without the TWC, PM was comprised mostly of organic compounds (70–100%). Downstream of the TWC, the majority of PM was, depending on the load, composed of organic compounds, sulfate, or black carbon. A statistical source apportionment based on mass spectra revealed that the PM1 was mostly related to unburned and burned lubricating oil, indicating a minor role of fuel in PM formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123387
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Black carbon
  • Exhaust emission
  • Gas engine
  • Lubrication oil
  • Natural gas
  • Non-road


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