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Physical Characteristics of Particle Emissions from a Medium Speed Ship Engine Fueled with Natural Gas and Low-Sulfur Liquid Fuels

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5376-5384
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Particle emissions from marine traffic affect significantly air quality in coastal areas and the climate. The particle emissions were studied from a 1.4 MW marine engine operating on low-sulfur fuels natural gas (NG; dual-fuel with diesel pilot), marine gas oil (MGO) and marine diesel oil (MDO). The emitted particles were characterized with respect to particle number (PN) emission factors, PN size distribution down to nanometer scale (1.2-414 nm), volatility, electric charge, morphology, and elemental composition. The size distribution of fresh exhaust particles was bimodal for all the fuels, the nucleation mode highly dominating the soot mode. Total PN emission factors were 2.7 × 1015-7.1 × 1015 #/kWh, the emission being the lowest with NG and the highest with MDO. Liquid fuel combustion generated 4-12 times higher soot mode particle emissions than the NG combustion, and the harbor-area-typical lower engine load (40%) caused higher total PN emissions than the higher load (85%). Nonvolatile particles consisted of nanosized fuel, and spherical lubricating oil core mode particles contained, e.g., calcium as well as agglomerated soot mode particles. Our results indicate the PN emissions from marine engines may remain relatively high regardless of fuel sulfur limits, mostly due to the nanosized particle emissions.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland