Effects of fuel composition and vehicle operating temperature on in vitro toxicity of exhaust emissions

Henri Hakkarainen, Anssi Järvinen, Teemu Lepistö, Niina Kuittinen, Lassi Markkula, Tuukka Ihantola, Mo Yang, Maria Viola Martikainen, Santtu Mikkonen, Hilkka Timonen, Minna Aurela, Luis Barreira, Mika Ihalainen, Sanna Saarikoski, Topi Rönkkö, Päivi Aakko-Saksa, Pasi Jalava

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Abstract

Traffic as an important part of the energy sector significantly contributes to global air pollution. To mitigate the hazardous components of traffic emissions regulations have been implemented resulting in technological solutions such as exhaust after-treatment systems. However, fuels also play a crucial role in emissions and components such as the aromatic compounds in fuel have been linked to increased exhaust emissions. Several current emissions regulations neglect environmental factors, such as cold operating temperatures, that can significantly increase emissions. Moreover, the effect of fuel aromatics and cold temperature on emissions toxicity has not been adequately studied. This study evaluates the impact of after-treatment systems, aromatic fuel content, and cold operating temperature on emission toxicity. To achieve this, four different light-duty vehicles were used in a temperature-controlled dynamometer room, with a co-culture of A549 and THP-1 cell lines exposed to online exhaust emissions using a thermophoresis-based air-liquid interface (ALI) system. The results demonstrate that the aromatic content of both diesel and gasoline fuels increases exhaust toxicity. The study additionally emphasises the potential of particulate filters as after-treatment systems to reduce the toxicity of emissions and highlights how cold running temperatures result in higher exhaust toxicity. The study also assessed the diesel particulate filter (DPF) active regeneration event, which leads to multi-fold emissions and higher toxicological responses. Overall, the study provides crucial novel results on how various factors affect the toxicity of exhaust emissions from modern light-duty vehicles, providing insights into decreasing the emissions from this energy sector.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental science: atmospheres
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution

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