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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A morphological survey of particulate matter emissions from spark-ignited engines Lagally, Christie D.


Spark-ignited engines are known to produce PM composed of solid, volatile or semi-volatile particles including spheres of carbon soot formed into agglomerates, other forms of carbonaceous particles, metal particles and charred droplets of engine oil. In this thesis, detailed observation has revealed that SI PM is partly composed of fully-formed carbon nanotubes and fullerenes in addition to known particle types previously presented in the literature. The purpose of this work is to ascertain the shape and size of particulate matter being emitted by SI engines. In this thesis, PM thermophoretic sampling and transmission electron microscopy were used to collect and analyze engine soot samples, respectively. Furthermore, the operation of the thermophoretic sampling device used in engine PM sample collection was characterized to identify the sampling efficiency based on particle deposition and sampling biases based on differences in particle thermoconductivity for various forms of carbon such as turbostratic soot, crystalline carbon nanotubes and calcium. In general, the efficiency of the TPS method was roughly estimated to be 30-80% efficient based on experimental results. In this thesis, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes have been identified as being emitted from in-use, spark-ignited natural gas and gasoline burning auto-rickshaw engines tested in New Delhi, India. Emission of fullerenes and CNTs was on the order of 10% +/- 7% of the non-volatile particulate matter. Agglomerates, dense spherical particles believed to be charred engine oil, and unidentified or compound particles were also cataloged. Confirmation that nanotubes are being produced by SI engines was achieved using PM samples collected from the Ricardo Hydra laboratory test engine at the University of British Columbia, Clean Energy Research Centre. Under more controlled conditions than can be achieved sampling in-use vehicles, SI engine PM is found to be a complex collection of dense, dark (possibly charred oil) spheres, small primary particle agglomerates, small particle deposits, volatile droplets, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes and large ‘other’ particles. High resolution TEM confirmed tube-shaped particles to be fully formed multi-walled carbon nanotubes.

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