Nucleation mode formation in heavy-duty diesel exhaust with and without a particulate filter

Kati Vaaraslahti, Annele Virtanen, Jyrki Ristimäki, Jorma Keskinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


Particle size distribution measurement with direct tailpipe sampling is employed to study the effect of a continuously regenerating diesel paniculate filter (CRDPF) on emissions of a heavy-duty diesel engine. The CRDPF consists of an oxidation catalyst and a filter. Tests are conducted using 2 and 40 ppm sulfur content fuels and two steady-state driving modes. The formation of nucleation mode with and without CRDPF is found to depend on different parameters. Without after-treatment, size distribution is observed to have a nucleation mode only at low load. Being independent of the fuel sulfur level (with these low sulfur level fuels), this nucleation mode is suggested to form mainly from hydrocarbons. With a CRDPF-equipped engine, nucleation mode, which was not observed without CRDPF, was found at high load mode only. This nucleation mode formation was found to correlate positively with fuel sulfur content. It is suggested that sulfuric acid is a main nucleating species in this situation, resulting from the effective conversion of SO2 to SO 3 in the oxidation catalyst. Using a thermodenuder confirms that the nucleation mode particles are semivolatile in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4884-4890
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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