Fine particle and organic vapor emissions from staged tests of an in-use aircraft engine

Albert A. Presto, Ngoc T. Nguyen, Manish Ranjan, Aaron J. Reeder, Eric M. Lipsky, Christopher J. Hennigan, Marissa A. Miracolo, Daniel D. Riemer, Allen L. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Staged tests were conducted to measure the particle and vapor emissions from a CFM56-2B1 gas-turbine engine mounted on a KC-135T Stratotanker airframe at different engine loads. Exhaust was sampled using a rake inlet installed 1-m downstream of the engine exit plane of a parked and chocked aircraft and a dilution sampler and portable smog chamber were used to investigate the particulate matter (PM) emissions. Total fine PM mass emissions were highest at low (4%) and high (85%) load and lower at intermediate loads (7% and 30%). PM mass emissions at 4% load are dominated by organics, while at 85% load elemental carbon is dominant. Quantifying the primary organic aerosol (POA) emissions is complicated by substantial filter sampling artifacts. Partitioning experiments reveal that the majority of the POA is semivolatile; for example, the POA emission factor changed by a factor of two when the background organic aerosol concentration was increased from 0.7 to 4μgm-3. Therefore, one cannot define a single non-volatile PM emission factor for aircraft exhaust. The gas- and particle-phase organic emissions were comprehensively characterized by analyzing canister, sorbent and filter samples with gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry. Vapor-phase organic emissions are highest at 4% load and decrease with increasing load. Low-volatility organics (less volatile than a C12 n-alkane) contributed 10-20% of the total organic emissions. The low-volatility organic emissions contain signatures of unburned fuel and aircraft lubricating oil but are dominated by an unresolved complex mixture (UCM) of presumably branched and cyclic alkanes. Emissions at all loads contain more low-volatility organic vapors than POA; thus secondary organic aerosol formation in the aging plume will likely exceed POA emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3603-3612
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Fine particle and organic vapor emissions from staged tests of an in-use aircraft engine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this