Particle number, mass, and black carbon emissions from fuel-operated auxiliary heaters in real vehicle use

Henri Oikarinen, Miska Olin, Sampsa Martikainen, Ville Leinonen, Santtu Mikkonen, Panu Karjalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Fuel-operated auxiliary heaters (AHs) are frequent solutions to heat the vehicle engines and cabins in cold areas. Particulate exhaust emissions of AHs are unregulated; therefore, their contribution to local air quality and thus human health and even the global emissions budget is unknown. Experiments for studying the AH-originated emissions were performed under Finnish winter conditions mimicking real-world use for six selected vehicles with original AHs installed, including both gasoline- and diesel-powered heaters. We present quantitative results of particle number emissions down to 1.3 nm, particle size distributions, particulate mass, and black carbon, and compare to gaseous emissions. The start-up and shutdown phases showed the highest particle peaks, while the particle concentrations were stable between these. The mean particle number, mass and BC emission factors were found to be as high as 590 × 1012 kgfuel−1, 33 mg kgfuel−1 and mg 18 kgfuel−1 for gasoline-operated heaters and 560 × 1012 kgfuel−1, 20 mg kgfuel−1 and 12 mg kgfuel−1 for diesel-operated heaters. Comparing total number of particles larger than 23 nm emitted during vehicle preheating with AH to vehicle tailpipe emissions during drive shows that a typical heating cycle emits an equal number of particles to drive dozens or even thousands of kilometers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100189
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment: X
Early online date24 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Auxiliary heaters
  • Black carbon
  • Cold start emissions
  • Combustion
  • Emission factor
  • Emissions
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Particle formation
  • Particle number
  • Particle size distribution
  • Passenger cars
  • PM
  • Soot formation
  • Traffic
  • Vehicle cold start
  • Vehicles

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Particle number, mass, and black carbon emissions from fuel-operated auxiliary heaters in real vehicle use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this