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Assessment of Euro 5 diesel vehicle NOx emissions by laboratory and track testing

Prati, Maria Vittoria, Costagliola, Maria Antonietta, Zuccheroso, Andrea, Napolitano, Pierpaolo
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.11 pp. 10576-10586
air temperature, ambient temperature, cold, emissions, nitrogen oxides
The Volkswagen scandal has promoted experimental campaigns worldwide aimed to assess the real exhaust emissions of in-use vehicles. Attention has been paid to diesel vehicle NOx emissions that are much higher than legislative type-approval limits. This paper analysed exhaust emissions of a fleet of ten Euro 5 diesel vehicles. NOx emissions were measured during laboratory and track testing. In both cases, the type-approval test was carried out with cold and warm starts. Moreover, in the laboratory, a modified type-approval test and a real urban driving cycle were executed in order to characterise emissions in multiple operating conditions, outside of the homologation boundaries. The testing environment did not influence the emissions behaviour of the tested vehicles. Track and laboratory results, in fact, were comparable when ambient conditions were comparable. The parameter which played the main role in terms of NOx emissions is the ambient temperature, fixed at 23 °C in laboratory and not controlled on the track. Above 28 °C, NOx emissions were much higher than the approval limit (almost 600 mg/km). Moreover, warm driving cycles always introduced higher NOx emissions than cold ones, because of the partial use and/or deactivation of the EGR circuit (one of effective measures to reduce NOx formation). The ratio between warm and cold emissions ranged from 2 to 5. The engine parameter which helped explain the relationship between NOx emissions and thermal engine status was the intake air temperature. For intake air temperatures below 40 °C, NOx emissions were lower than 0.2 g/km. Above 40 °C, they suddenly increased up to almost 0.6 g/km. Another issue highlighted by the experimental results was that dynamic real driving caused the highest NOx emissions (almost 1 g/km).