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An approach to evaluate the representativeness of site-specific fuel-based vehicle emission factors, such as would be obtained using Remote Sensing Devices (RSDs) is demonstrated based on real-world data for 23 selected light duty gasoline vehicles. Real time vehicle route-average emissions rates were measured using a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) for a variety of road types and traffic characteristics. Several hypothetical remote sensing sites were selected to estimate site-specific fuel-based emission factors. The average fuel-based emission factors increased with vehicle specific power (VSP) and varied by a factor of 3 and 4 for NO(x) and CO, respectively. The route average emission factors varied by approximately 20% for either NO(x) or CO. The site-specific emission factors varied among specific sites by 20 and 30% for NO(x) and CO, respectively. Fuel-based HC emission rates had little variability with engine load, among routes, or between sites. Arbitrarily chosen sites can lead to potential biases for CO and NO(x) if measured emission factors are used for route average rates and, therefore, for area-wide inventories. However, site-specific emission factors have the potential to be representative of area-wide emission rates if the distribution of positive VSP at the site is similar to that of routes or area-wide cycles of interest.


Taewoo Lee, H Christopher Frey. Evaluation of representativeness of site-specific fuel-based vehicle emission factors for route average emissions. Environmental science & technology. 2012 Jun 19;46(12):6867-73

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PMID: 22568568

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