Cite this article: Lähde, T., Niemi, J.V., Kousa, A., Rönkkö, T., Karjalainen, P., Keskinen, J., Frey, A., Hillamo, R. and Pirjola, L. (2014). Mobile Particle and NOx Emission Characterization at Helsinki Downtown: Comparison of Different Traffic Flow Areas.
Aerosol Air Qual. Res.
14: 1372-1382. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2013.10.0311
Mobile monitoring demonstrated large spatial and temporal variation in exhaust emissions.
At high traffic flow (HTF) areas, exhaust emissions followed daily average heavy duty vehicle counts.
Particles smaller than 40 nm (Np40) dominated the number size distribution at the HTF areas.
At low traffic flow (LTF) areas, the proportion of Np40 was only 15% of that at the HTF areas.
Changes in particle size distributions during dispersion from the HTF areas were observed.
A two weeks measurement campaign by a mobile laboratory van was performed at downtown Helsinki, Finland, in winter 2010. The characteristics of air pollutants such as fine particles in the size ranges of 7–40 nm (Np40) and 40–1000 nm (Np1000), black carbon (BC), fine particle mass (PM2.5), as well as gaseous compounds NO, NO2, NOx, CO and CO2 were studied. The statistical analysis showed that the air pollution conditions strongly depended on the traffic flow area; therefore, the street sections were classified as high traffic flow areas (HTF1-HTF4), low traffic flow areas (LTF1-LTF5), and urban background areas (BG1-BG3). Large variation of particle emissions was observed, and the momentary peak particle concentrations were 8 × 105 cm–3. At the HTF areas exhaust emissions followed clearly daily average heavy duty vehicle counts rather than the average daily vehicle counts. Higher correlation coefficients were found between CO2 and NO than between CO2 and Ntot. The dispersion studies indicated that the air pollution conditions strongly improved from high traffic flow areas to low traffic flow areas. Therefore, proper city planning and locating, for example, cycle tracks, schools and hospitals farther from busy city streets might significantly reduce exposure risk for humans.
Keywords: Urban aerosols; Mobile samplers; Automotive exhaust; Air pollution