All modern diesel vehicles in Europe are equipped with diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and their particle number (PN) emissions at the tailpipe are close to ambient air levels. After the Dieselgate scandal for high NOx
emissions of diesel vehicles on the road, the high PN emissions during regeneration events are on the focus. The PN emissions of a diesel vehicle on the road and in the laboratory with or without regeneration events were measured using systems with evaporation tubes and catalytic strippers and counters with lower sizes of 23, 10 and 4 nm. The tests showed significant PN levels only during engine cold starts with a big fraction of sub-23 nm particles during the first minute. After the first seconds the sub-23 nm fraction was negligible. Urea injection at the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NOx
system did not affect the PN levels and the sub-23 nm fraction. The emissions during regeneration events were higher than the PN limit, but rapidly decreased 2-3 orders of magnitude below the limit after the regeneration. Artificially high sub-10 nm levels were seen during the regeneration (volatile artifact) at the system with the evaporation tube. The regenerations were forced every 100–350 km and the overall emissions including the regeneration events were two to four times lower than the current laboratory PN limit. The results of this study confirmed the efficiency of DPFs under laboratory and on-road driving conditions.
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