Secondary Organic and Inorganic Aerosol Formation from a GDI Vehicle under Different Driving Conditions

Weihan Peng, Cavan McCaffery, Niina Kuittinen, Topi Rönkkö, David R. Cocker, Georgios Karavalakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the primary emissions and secondary aerosol formation from a gasoline direct injection (GDI) passenger car when operated over different legislative and real-world driving cycles on a chassis dynamometer. Diluted vehicle exhaust was photooxidized in a 30 m3 environmental chamber. Results showed elevated gaseous and particulate emissions for the cold-start cycles and higher secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, suggesting that cold-start condition will generate higher concentrations of SOA precursors. Total secondary aerosol mass exceeded primary PM emissions and was dominated by inorganic aerosol (ammonium and nitrate) for all driving cycles. Further chamber experiments in high temperature conditions verified that more ammonium nitrate nucleates to form new particles, forming a secondary peak in particle size distribution instead of condensing to black carbon particles. The results of this study revealed that the absorption of radiation by black carbon particles can lead to changes in secondary ammonium nitrate formation. Our work indicates the potential formation of new ammonium nitrate particles during low temperature conditions favored by the tailpipe ammonia and nitrogen oxide emissions from gasoline vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number433
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ammonium nitrate
  • Driving cycles
  • Gasoline direct injection
  • Primary emissions
  • Secondary organic aerosol (SOA)


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