Effects of an oxidation catalytic converter and a biodiesel fuel on the chemical, mutagenic, and particle size characteristics of emissions from a diesel engine

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This study was conducted to obtain additional information on exhaust emissions with potential health importance from an indirect injection diesel engine, typical of those in use in underground mines, when operated using a soy-derived, fatty-acid mono-ester (or biodiesel) fuel and an oxidation catalytic converter (OCC). Compared to emissions with the diesel fuel without the OCC, use of the diesel (D2) and biodiesel fuel with the OCC had similar reductions (50-80%) in total particulate matter (TPM). The solid portion of the TPM was lowered with the biodiesel fuel. Particle-associated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon and 1-nitropyrene emissions were lower with use of the biodiesel fuel as compared to the D2 fuel, with or without the OCC. Vapor- phase PAH emissions were reduced (up to 90%) when the OCC was used with either fuel. Use of the OCC resulted in over 50% reductions in both particle and vapor-phase-associated mutagenic activity with both fuels. No vapor- phase-associated mutagenic activity was detected with the biodiesel fuel; only very low levels were detected with the D2 fuel and the OCC. Use of the OCC caused a moderate shift in the particle size/volume distribution of the accumulation mode particles to smaller particles for the diesel fuel and a reduction of particle volume concentrations at some of the tested conditions for both fuels. The nuclei mode did not contribute significantly to total particle volume concentrations within the measured particle size range (~0.01-1.0 μm). The biodiesel fuel reduced total particle volume concentrations. Overall, use of this OCC for the engine conditions tested with the biodiesel fuel, in particular, resulted in generally similar or greater reductions in emissions than for use of the D2 fuel. Use of the biodiesel fuel should not increase any of the potentially toxic, health- related emissions that were monitored as part of this study.

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Environmental Science and Technology