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Aerodynamic and mobility size distribution measurements to reveal biodiesel effects on diesel exhaust aerosol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-595
Number of pages9
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This article examines the effect of biodiesel blends on the exhaust aerosol from a Euro 3 passenger car. Five different feedstock oils (soybean, palm, sunflower, rapeseed, and used frying oil) were used to produce fuels with 10% vol. content in biodiesel (B10). Use of the B10 blends led to a systematic reduction of PM mass emissions in the range of 9% (rapeseed) to 23% (used frying oil) on average. The combination of particle size distributions based on the aerodynamic and the mobility diameters led to the estimation of the fractal dimension (DF) for non-volatile particles. This was found to range from 2.52 for the baseline (fossil) fuel to 2.62 for the palm oil blend, suggesting that biodiesel can affect the particle morphology, even at this low blending ratio. The differences were statistically significant. The increase of the DF is translated to more compact particle structure, which in turn denotes lower specific surface area. The volatile fraction of PM lies within a range of 1-9% when fossil diesel fuel is employed. Use of palm, sunflower and rapeseed B10 blends results to PM that contain up to 28% volatile particulate mass. The higher emissions of volatile components together with the lower specific area of non-volatile particles, promotes the formation of volatile particles, especially at high speed conditions. This increases the total particle population under motorway driving by up to three times over the baseline levels.