Analyses of turbulent flow fields and aerosol dynamics of diesel engine exhaust inside two dilution sampling tunnels using the CTAG model

Yan Jason Wang, Bo Yang, Eric M. Lipsky, Allen L. Robinson, K. Max Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Experimental results from laboratory emission testing have indicated that particulate emission measurements are sensitive to the dilution process of exhaust using fabricated dilution systems. In this paper, we first categorize the dilution parameters into two groups: (1) aerodynamics (e.g., mixing types, mixing enhancers, dilution ratios, residence time); and (2) mixture properties (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, particle size distributions of both raw exhaust and dilution gas). Then we employ the Comprehensive Turbulent Aerosol Dynamics and Gas Chemistry (CTAG) model to investigate the effects of those parameters on a set of particulate emission measurements comparing two dilution tunnels, i.e., a T-mixing lab dilution tunnel and a portable field dilution tunnel with a type of coaxial mixing. The turbulent flow fields and aerosol dynamics of particles are simulated inside two dilution tunnels. Particle size distributions under various dilution conditions predicted by CTAG are evaluated against the experimental data. It is found that in the area adjacent to the injection of exhaust, turbulence plays a crucial role in mixing the exhaust with the dilution air, and the strength of nucleation dominates the level of particle number concentrations. Further downstream, nucleation terminates and the growth of particles by condensation and coagulation continues. Sensitivity studies reveal that a potential unifying parameter for aerodynamics, i.e., the dilution rate of exhaust, plays an important role in new particle formation. The T-mixing lab tunnel tends to favor the nucleation due to a larger dilution rate of the exhaust than the coaxial mixing field tunnel. Our study indicates that numerical simulation tools can be potentially utilized to develop strategies to reduce the uncertainties associated with dilution samplings of emission sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-898
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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