Characterization and Speciation Of Fine Particulate Matter Inside the Public Transport Buses Running On Bio-Diesel

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Ashok Kumar
    The University of Toledo

Project Dates:

01/01/2009 to 08/31/2009

Project year: Year 1

MIOH-UTC Project Identifier: AF 21; Project 1

Focus Area:

  • Research: Alternative Fuels


The proposed research is to collect and analyze particulate matter in different size fractions inside the biodiesel (B20) (blended with ultra low sulfur diesel) fueled buses in urban area of Toledo, Ohio. Size fractionation will be achieved by the recently developed Sioutas Cascade Impactor. The collective mass of particulate matter of size less than 10 µm (PM10) will be collected by GRIMM/Dust Track monitors. The purpose of this study is to quantify the biodiesel exhaust emissions in the indoor environment of public transit buses, where the aerosol consists of biodiesel fumes, ambient air particles from pollutant sources around the route, and indoor sources. The samples will be analyzed physically and chemically. The GRIMM monitor gives number concentrations as well and Sioutas Cascade Impactor gives gravimetric particle mass concentration in different size ranges. The relationships between number and mass of the particles will be developed during the study. The samples will be physically analyzed using the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM). Chemical analysis will include analysis of metal, organic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). X-ray Diffractometery (XRD) will be carried out to identify and recognizing the mineralogical composition of the particles. Individual particle analysis will be undertaken for determining size, shape, and morphology using analytical techniques. The understanding of different chemical components will help to assess yet unknown risk of biodiesel exhaust emissions. The chemical analysis of fine particulate matter will also facilitate the possible source apportionment. The study will determine the role of the biodiesel particles in the samples for future exposure studies.

Final Report:


Total Budget: $53,420


US DOT, The University of Toledo, Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, (TARTA)