In 2007, U.S. certification standards for heavy duty on-road diesel engine particulate matter (PM) emissions were reduced from 0.1g/bhp-hr to 0.01g/bhp-hr, representing an order of magnitude reduction in pollutant level. The Tier 4 standards for nonroad diesel engines, being phased in from 2008 through 2015, also require similar level of reduction in PM. Most conventional diesel engines could meet these low PM standards, once equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). However, accurate, repeatable measurements of this PM may pose significant challenges. Gravimetric PM measurement involves diluting exhaust, then collecting the resultant aerosol sample on approved filter media. Few data exist to characterize the evolution of particulate matter (PM) in dilution tunnels, particularly at very low PM mass levels. Data are lacking as well, for PM evolution in portable dilution instruments and in exhaust plumes downstream of the tailpipe. Size distributions of ultra-fine particles in the diesel exhaust from a naturally aspirated ISUZU C240 diesel engine, equipped with a DPF, were studied. Particle size distribution data, during steady-state engine operations, were collected using a Cambustion DMS500 Fast Particulate Spectrometer. The effects of dilution ratios, dilution rates, and residence times on the diesel particulate matter (DPM) size distributions were analyzed and discussed. Measurements were made for three dilution methods: dilution in standard primary and secondary-dilution tunnels with a full scale Constant Volume Sampler (CVS) system, instrument dilution with a Portable Particulate Measurement Device (PPMD), and ambient dilution at the post-tailpipe exhaust plume centerline. Gaseous emissions measurements were utilized as surrogate confirmation of adequate mixing at the various measurement locations, as well as an indicator of dilution ratios. Tunnel sample results indicated varying size distributions at tunnel cross sections where the flow was still developing. Evolution of particle-size distributions was observed even for fully mixed primary flow conditions. Size distributions at the end of the secondary dilution tunnel were observed to vary with different secondary-dilution ratios. Particle-size distributions of post-tailpipe and PPMD test results were analyzed and compared with those results collected from the full-flow tunnel. Results from post-tailpipe sampling indicate that nucleation was the dominant process when the exhaust plume was diluted along the post-tailpipe centerline. Results from PPMD dilution measurements indicate that change of particle-size-distribution curves, including number count and mass concentration levels, were not as strongly correlated to dilution ratios as were the results from the other two sampling methods. This study shows that particle-size distributions measured inside full-flow dilution tunnel can adequately mimic freshly emitted exhaust sampled immediately post-tailpipe.

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