Impact of a NO 2-regenerated diesel particulate filter on PAH and NPAH emissions from an EURO IV heavy duty engine

Matteo Carrara, Reinhard Niessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this study the emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and their nitro-derivates (NPAH) from a modern heavy duty engine were analysed. Focus was on the effects of the aftertreatment system. It consisted of an oxidation catalyst coupled to a diesel particulate filter (DPF). In such systems the process of PAH and NPAH degradation may compete with the NPAH formation. Scope of the study was to explain to which extent modern DPF could support the formation of highly mutagenic NPAH by nitration of pre-existing PAH. It was found that the diesel trap reduced the total amount of PAH and NPAH emitted both at low load and high load. Nevertheless, at low load the lower temperatures and the higher NO 2 concentration furnished better conditions for PAH nitration while they were more adverse to NPAH degradation. These effects were NPAH-specific. For these reasons, some NPAH like 3-nitrophenanthrene were still efficiently degraded but others were newly formed. For instance emissions of the highly toxic 1-benzo(a)pyrene and 6-nitrobenzo(a)pyrene where increased by a factor 15 at low load and, even if in lower amount, were formed also at high load. The super-mutagen 1,6-dinitropyrene, which was not present in raw exhaust, could be found only after the DPF, indicating a new formation. In regard to emissions from the active regeneration mode, tremendous high emissions of 1-nitropyrene were reported. More accurate investigation of such a regeneration mode would be of great interest for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3373-3379
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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